Bed Wettin' Bad Boys - Ready For Boredom

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

This sounds marvellous. A very, very enjoyable record. But here is someone more articulate than me to explain why even though it sounds like lots of other people - it is still fine.

Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys – Ready For Boredom (LP)
by Shaun Prescott on January 10, 2013

bedwettersRock music! How very unexciting. Sydney’s Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys are definitely a rock band, and listening to Ready For Boredom, there’s no disputing they’ve heard a lot of it. At least one of the guys in this band works in a record store.

In a recent blog post, Simon Reynolds addressed a Pitchfork review of Interpol’s debut reissue, which claimed that in retrospect, 2002 “may have been the very year that we stopped talking about how music sounds, and started talking about what other music it sounds like.” Reynolds points out that this “delirium referentia” isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to post-millennial rock music, and that it was endemic in the ye olde Forced Exposure zine back in the ’80s, and propagated by groups like Pavement – members of which also worked in record stores. Basically, a lot of modern rock music is defined by its intimate understanding of the rock ‘n roll eco-system: how it responds and adapts to tradition. The press release for this Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys’ LP cites three other, older bands, because that’s how you know whether this band is good for you or not. That’s just the way we talk about rock music: in footnotes and references; in genre compounds; in terms of what band A created, and how they led the way for band B. While that tendency has become more explicit since the i******t, it’s certainly not unique to the ’00s and beyond.

I mention this because it feels necessary to acknowledge that on paper, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys is a very average band. On that alphabetical continuum, they’d be band Z. Four guys making rock music you’ve heard before. Trading in riffs you could swear you’ve heard elsewhere. The band has three vocalists and exactly none of them can quite hit the notes they want to. When sometimes they do, you want to golf clap and fist bump them. On Ready For Boredom they don’t even resort to low fidelity to mask their technical shortcomings. This is not music composed with music critics in mind. It’s a collection of dots connected.

Ready For Boredom is the best rock record I have heard for years, though. It makes me immensely happy, it makes me feel soft in the stomach, and it makes me angry when someone doesn’t feel the same way. How does this happen? I can talk about emotions, and how relatable and life-affirming these songs are, and how much love for the form these guys demonstrate through their playing and songwriting, but… you know, other older bands do that well too. It’s objectively true that Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys are great because of their songs, but for me, they’re important in a kinda old fashioned way: they sail against the wind, they push against the norm. Not in a formally important sense, but more for the way they implicitly antagonise that “delirium referentia” by making the most proletariat, empathetic, and common rock music there could be in 2013, but in the most blatantly unfashionable way possible. There is no jangle here. No disinterest. No apathy. They care so much about rock music and life that it’s kinda disorientating. They’re trying really, really hard. When I listen to Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, I know that rock music is a vehicle. It’s a set of rules that happen to correlate with what is important to these four guys. It makes sense to speak in this language.

Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys write songs that you can blindly skol longnecks to, but some of them are quite devastatingly sad, and crucial to that – and what defines the album as a whole – is the feeling of outgrowing rock ‘n roll but still wanting it. Of no longer being a youth but still wanting to be. Of realigning your priorities despite your instincts. In some ways, Ready For Boredom feels like an album about outgrowing a rock ‘n roll ‘lifestyle’: of wondering how to possibly transition between reckless and balanced in the blink of an eye (if only that were possible!).

Ready For Boredom is not a blind celebration of youth, it’s not a party album, and it’s not a “punk” album. There is monumental fear here. The nominal boredom = comfort. A life on the fringes and a diet of cup-a-soup is no longer attractive. Let’s settle down. We’re ready for boredom. Yet despite possibly being wimps, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys are stubbornly a meat and potatoes rock ‘n’ roll band that make music you already know you’re gonna like.

It’s writ large on several of the songs here. ‘Have You Ever’ asks whether you’ve “slept through an entire weekend” in a tone that suggests that’s a complete waste of your resources. ‘Bite My Tongue’ is about keeping your mouth shut – not operating entirely on instinct, learning tact and the importance of it. During ‘Ready For Boredom’, Nic Warnock admits that he’s “sick and tired of the rest of society” but wonders whether he should be bored, and then, whether you wouldn’t mind being bored with him. At no point do Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys implore you to get loose, despite the music physically demanding it. Rather, they’re there: taking the hits we all do as we journey from dumb arse punk to actual human being.

Rock ‘n’ roll isn’t a lifestyle anymore. It can sound like it is, but it isn’t. Everyone needs to shift gears, everyone needs to earn a crust. The world is hostile. Everyone needs to survive. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys encapsulate the other rock ‘n roll experience in 2013. This record knows that the modern understanding of rock ‘n roll is the province of the advantageous. It’s an alternative lifestyle you can only live if you’re lucky enough to be born into wealth, or brave enough to rough it.

This group doesn’t fit that lineage. You’ll want to keep playing their record when you’re strapped to a mortgage and commuting three hours a day in the direction of a desk. They want you to feel accounted for when the rest of the world renders you meaningless. This is a record about rock’s glorious, irresistible folly, but it’s not a capitulation: it merely addresses your neuroses, their neuroses, and assures you that you’re not alone. It’s a bearhug followed by an affectionate punch in the gut.

It also sounds like Guided By Voices, Slade, The Replacements, Kiss, Green Day (seriously!) and a bunch of other bands you’ve probably heard before. Rock music! How weird is it. This band is called Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys.

Label: R.I.P Society (available January 14)

Hinklepicker, Thursday, 24 January 2013 07:54 (five years ago) Permalink

saw this band name the other day and assumed it was some sort of sub-Lonely Island comedy thing. suspect I am not alone in this

Crack On, Have A Booze (with Manda Rin) (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:31 (five years ago) Permalink

it is not a comedy thing

i have to assume they've improved quite a lot as i saw them live mid '11 and they were complete shit

dutch tl;drs (electricsound), Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:39 (five years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

What is happening in this video ?

Its so stupid, in a slightly unnerving way.

Hinklepicker, Saturday, 3 August 2013 23:44 (five years ago) Permalink

this album has grown on me, they've cleaned up pretty well

failed gravy (electricsound), Saturday, 3 August 2013 23:47 (five years ago) Permalink

Looks like they're continuing the fine Aussie tradition of horsing around in their video clips? ref. Australian Crawl, Mental as Anything

badg, Monday, 5 August 2013 18:10 (five years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

i like these dudes but their dumb band name makes 'dick diver' seem cool by comparison.

dynamicinterface, Friday, 20 November 2015 23:31 (three years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

New record sounds awesome.
Robert Pollard would like it.

nostormo, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 18:06 (eleven months ago) Permalink

didn't know they had a new album out so thanks! the Australian rock scene has so many good bands right now that i can't keep up.

dynamicinterface, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 23:31 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Examples please?

nostormo, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 12:19 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Last night, I made an incredulous face and clicked on the YT link upthread and that song has been stuck on a loop in my head ever since. So, yeah, might have to check these unfortunately-named dudes out.

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 3 January 2018 13:07 (eleven months ago) Permalink

(Says the guy with the DN 'Bobby Buttrock'.)

Bobby Buttrock (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 3 January 2018 13:07 (eleven months ago) Permalink

check this out to replace the loop with a new one. so good:

nostormo, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 14:06 (eleven months ago) Permalink

haha okay this fuckin band name is diarrhea planet levels bad (and i say that as the former bassist for unbelievable jolly machine so i know from bad names)

but damn this is really fucking great
like GBV meets Royal Headache

Joan Digimon (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 3 January 2018 15:44 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Please don't put those 2 bands together in the same sentence.

nostormo, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 17:31 (eleven months ago) Permalink

One of the singers in this band is the ex-bassist of Royal Headache. He's on both RH albums.

JRN, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 18:39 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Yeah, and still..BWBB are on a different league

nostormo, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 19:01 (eleven months ago) Permalink

off the top of my head, king gizzard, dick diver, terry, rolling blackouts, salad boys (they are from nz but i alway lump em in anyway) are some of the other australian bands putting out great tunes. there's a great thread on ilm somewhere that I don't have time to find but it covers a lot of this territory.

dynamicinterface, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 19:46 (eleven months ago) Permalink

i'll say royal headache as much as i want good day sir

Joan Digimon (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 3 January 2018 19:51 (eleven months ago) Permalink

off the top of my head, king gizzard, dick diver, terry, rolling blackouts, salad boys (they are from nz but i alway lump em in anyway) are some of the other australian bands putting out great tunes. there's a great thread on ilm somewhere that I don't have time to find but it covers a lot of this territory.

― dynamicinterface, Thursday, January 4, 2018 6:46 AM (ten hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Aussie/Kiwi Guitar Pop- The scenes that just keep giving and giving

Isi, Thursday, 4 January 2018 06:19 (eleven months ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.