Californian band, The Bad Years, certainly defy definitions when it comes to their music. Although the LA based duo are fresh on the scene, it already seems clear that they’d rather exist as their own singular entity than be shoehorned into any specific genre. Entering the fray with a double A-side single, Sami Akbari and Aaron Mort have chosen to introduce themselves with a fascinating amalgam of electro-pop, alt-rock, dance and even elements of punk.

“Common Mistake” maintains a sanguine beat and fast pace from beginning to end, blending elements such as synthesizers, acoustic guitars and drums. There’s a bit of a dark edge hidden within the electronic aspect of the music, creating an intriguingly paradoxical sound which works well. The amiable vocal melody is catchy and consistent throughout, combining with the instrumentation to craft a track that is memorable and unique.

A recalcitrant, unruly introduction gets “Didn’t Need to Know” off to an attention grabbing start. This is a lot heavier than the previous track, but continues mixing together a wide range of musical elements. The synths are played up behind unusual, distorted vocal effects during the verse, while the guitar work during the chorus is particularly arresting. It bears quite a grungey vibe as a whole.

Having played their first live show on November 19th and with their debut single barely a month old, The Bad Years have only just begun to venture into the water. That they’re doing so with such a distinct style should work to their advantage. It’s definitely one way of attempting to stand out from the crowd and if the duo can capitalise on the sound they’ve created with their first two tracks, it might just succeed for them.

Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at