|Photo by Jason Thrasher|
The big draw of The Bad Ends is that it's an Athens, GA supergroup that features R.E.M.'s Bill Berry on drums. It feels like it's been forever since Bill Berry had a musical project, so it's definitely worth our attention. Luckily, their first song lives up to the hype. "All Your Friends Are Dying" is an absolutely perfect alt-rock power pop song. The song is meant partially as a tribute to Big Star, and that's very obvious. It's filled with fuzzy guitars and vocals that seem a bit too abrasive at first until your ears adjust. And then they're absolutely perfect. Of course there will be R.E.M. comparisons, but to me it has more of a Big Star meets The Replacements sound.
Mike Mantione (singer/guitar) says of the band's new single:
“The song and the video are a celebration of Athens. The song is also a tribute to Big Star and The Glands. I'm really singing it to a friend who missed this special performance of the Big Star Third album and I'm warning my friend not to miss stuff because life doesn't last very long. The cameos were just the most fun. I got to drive around Athens with so many awesome friends. We were supposed to look glum, but once they got into the van with me, laughter would erupt. Athens had an incredible, beloved local vegetarian restaurant called The Grit which closed a day before we shot the last of the cameos. We do a drive-by of The Grit as sort of a farewell nod."
You can watch the video for "All Your Friends Are Dying" below. The Power and The Glory is due out January 20 on New West Records. You can pre-order the album here. For more on The Bad Ends, check out the band's website.