Bad Moods - Super Collider

Let’s get this right out of the way: there’s nothing Timothy Haught and Champ Hammer do on Super Collider that you haven’t heard ad infinitum—big, fuzzed-out guitars; punchy rhythms; vocals that alternate between anthemic triumph and wistful regret. To put it plainly, Bad Moods’ latest is a record hell-bent on rekindling the spirit of ‘90s alt-rock and all its moody angst and ennui, which would be a major drag if the duo weren’t so damn proficient at conjuring compelling songs that crackle and snarl in all the right places. Just listen to the taut precision of the title track and the way their grooves leap and barrel forward like some maniacal early Weezer/Superchunk hybrid. Or the way “Mike Birbiglia” merges hammering riffs with surging space-rock atmospherics reminiscent of Hum. Only the calm resignation of the vocals serves to temper the pair’s rollicking assault; in fact, the majority EP is marked by this tension between the music’s breakneck urgency and a facade of bitter, world-weary cool. Of Super Collider‘s four tracks, only the closing, ill-named “Physics and Pussy” breaks that mold, choosing instead to shroud its deep-sigh lamentations in a light blanket of twinkling guitars. A natural resistance to aging and decline has formed the backbone of any number of thrilling rock records, and while Bad Moods may not break any molds at least they’re still alive, kicking, and chasing catharsis.

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