Bad Dudes is one of the more joyful bands to emerge from the fertile music community surrounding the Smell in Los Angeles, second only to the Mae Shi in giggle-worthiness. Just like its eponymous debut (2005), Bad Dudes’ second album, Eat Drugs, flips off cohesion, throwing together punked-up math instrumentals, hyper grooving eight-bit prog, the kitschiest of synth sounds and cameo appearances by members of what seems like every L.A. band. The result is a surprisingly danceable, retro-futuristic party record.
The band’s untouchable on “Suez” and “Casual Encounters (Of the Third Kind),” both of which hit the perfect mix of complexity and groove. And although the tunes are mostly as strong as the material on the debut, the energy just isn’t there.
Listening to Bad Dudes can feel like an aural ecstasy high. Whether it’s due to the anemic production job, the wear and tear of a constantly changing lineup or boredom with this material, some of which the band has been playing for years, Eat Drugs offers only a slight buzz.