Review: 'Sneak Attack'

Sneak Attack jacket Dale working on "Sneak Attack" album graphics

Bad Sneakers
"Sneak Attack"
Now & Then Records
BS82001


How many times have you heard someone say about a record from an area band, "It sounds so good for a local band?" I'm not going to say that about "Sneak Attack, " the first release from Newark's Bad Sneakers. This album sounds so good it holds up against current national releases. The band really deserves a lot of credit for producing such a professional-sounding album on their first try.

It's obvious that Bad Sneakers is going for maximum audience acceptance with this release. The album oozes with commercial pop sensibilities: lots of hooks, harmonies, and walls of background vocals. The songwriting is good to excellent throughout, and most of the material lends itself nicely to a pop/rock format.

Most of the material here it in the commercial pop/rock vein, and three of the best songs on the album, "Can't Stop," "Earthly Delights" and "I Don't Need A Reason," are ringers in that format. Most of the other better material on the album, however, manages to deviate slightly without getting too far away from the genre.

"Diamonds In The Dark," for example, combines elements of swing and jazz in the rhythm with keyboards and guitar trading leads nicely. "Get Up And Go" is a cross between the band's commercial rock sound and some quirky new wavishness that manages to grow on you. Two of the songs on the album lean toward a mainstream rock sound, "When a Boy Becomes a Man," and to a lesser extent, "Every Little Secret." Both of these feature excellent guitar work and indicate a different direction the band may wish to pursue someday. In the meantime, "Sneak Attack" stands as a fine example of what a talented local band can accomplish with hard work.

Copyright © 1979-2008, Dale Dallabrida, Neal Tillotson and Bad Sneakers. All rights reserved.