Bad Science – Spacewalking Album Review: A Stellar Debut

Music is a form of expression, which means it can be deeply personal. Sometimes hearing a song can make you feel like you’re in the shoes of the artist, experiencing a part of themselves through their craft. Of course, this is what gives music its magic and Bad Science’s debut album, Spacewalking, has no shortage of magic. From the very beginning, singer and songwriter Laura Beale’s spacey and mysterious synth-rock grabs you by the hand and doesn’t let you go till the very end, pouring her heart out the entire way through.

Nothing Happens follows the intro track with a bold synth intro that immediately grabs your attention, then tosses you into the groovy guitar riff that you can’t help but move to. The vocals add the same mysterious and ethereal quality as they do in the first track, hitting especially hard when the synths start taking over. Lyrically, the track is one of introspection and perseverance, with hard-hitting lines such as “is there some mercy for some wisdom, I think I’d rather barely have some” that illustrates the point perfectly. Whenever the synths feel like they’re taking over, the guitar moves in and adds a sense of groove or smooth melody to the track. It makes the song pop with a powerful personality of its own, especially the dual-guitar outro that beautifully combines it with the drums and synths to form a lasting impression as a stand-out track.

The track that follows, Hey Hey Hey, is attention-grabbing from the start with bright vocals illuminating the deep, groovy bassline. By the time the starry synths mellow out the sound, the beat of the drums has already pulled you out of your seat and got you moving. The guitar is easy to get lost in and sounds buttery smooth before the synths make way for the vocals. The vocal tracks by Laura Beale and Hailey Ivey sync perfectly with one another, giving the track a glowing personality all its own. The lyrics are powerful and full of emotion, with lines such as “guess I never really thought about it, I have more here than I thought,” especially when it comes home at the end in the “guess I never really” refrain as it’s followed by “I can be here without having a reason” being a great payoff for the bright and emotional track. It’s hard to not hit repeat on this one after the first listen, making it another stand-out track.

The track Something opens in a similar way to the track before it, but puts the guitar front and center before greeting you with a powerful, reverb-laced vocal track. The drums take a commanding presence, but ultimately find their place alongside the rest of the instrumentals during the slow build-up. Something feels like the perfect cool-down track after the powerful emotional introspection of Peacetime, but it isn’t without its own edge. This is felt in lines such as “dear reader maybe just ignore this bit, where I’m a cynic I can’t make sense of it,” and “I was looking for something to cool this fire within me. But now I just have to accept the fact that it will never leave” are filled with emotion that moves you and puts you right into the mind of Laura Beale. The trippy guitars feel perfectly placed behind the starry, wavy synths and feel like they add dense ripples to fill in the meandering digital sounds. All of this makes Something the perfect follow-up and a great song all its own.

Spacewalking is an introspective and emotional ride from the mind of Laura Beale. Each track builds off of one another to create a personality that rises in tracks such as Nothing Happens, then falls to an emotional crashing point in tracks such as Something and See, only to build itself back up again by the time you hit Feeling Lonely before letting you down easy in the outro. Additional vocals from Hailey Ivy give tracks such as Hey Hey Hey a sense of depth that’s hard to ignore when the two sync up, making for some of the most memorable parts of the Bad Science’s debut album. The cohesive structure of the album feels like a guided tour through parts of Beale’s life, making everything you hear feel personal as if she was telling you directly. With a solid rock foundation and some seriously spacey synths, Spacewalking is a debut that you don’t want to miss.

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