The Badge | The EP Collection (2004-2005) [US Version]

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The EP Collection (2004-2005) [US Version]

by The Badge

"The EP Collection (2004-2005)" marks a creative jump forward by The Badge & the songwriting team of Slate/Teamaker. More live & rollicking than 2003's "Calling Generation Mojo", this CD benefits from the band's hot live show & consistent work schedule.
Genre: Rock: Classic Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Super Fine!
3:46 $0.99
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2. Make Me Happy
4:19 $0.99
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3. The Jockey's Fields
3:06 $0.99
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4. Scarlett Johannson
3:29 $0.99
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5. Spacey (Wall of Sound Mix)
4:08 $0.99
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6. Mixing Signals
3:30 $0.99
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7. Too Demanding
3:04 $0.99
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8. Mara Mara
3:43 $0.99
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9. Random Road
3:43 $0.99
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10. Count On Me Now
4:00 $0.99
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11. That Magic Feeling
5:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Jeff Slate and Marc Teamaker traveled parallel career paths for much of the nineties. This wouldn't be significant but for the fact that in early 2003 these two wandering minstrels were introduced by a mutual fan - whose name shall remain anonymous, but let's call him Tim Santiago - and the future of the New York City band The Badge was changed forever.

Formed in 1997 by Jeff Slate, The Badge were immediately recognized amongst the throng of mod-leaning bands as the one to keep an eye on. Slate recruited three musicians he'd played with over the years and with whom he shared a musical and aesthetic bond and crafted The Badge's spectacular debut, "...digital retro..." Slate knew he was onto something, but as happens in the world of musicians the band soon headed in separate directions; with Dido, Jewel, They Might Be Giants, and such.

Slate had been through it all before. He'd been a founder of the seminal mid-80s mod-punk band The Mindless Thinkers, he'd worked with Pete Townshend and toured with Sheryl Crow. He regrouped and put the word out that a new project was in the offing. Musicians lined up to join in the party.

As the new material took shape, the new core of The Badge took shape along with it. Nelson Pla brought his rock steady drumbeat to the picture. And then came Marc Teamaker.

Marc Teamaker was the "roll" to Jeff Slate's "rock." He was raised on the same music as Slate - the Beatles, Who, Kinks, Small Faces, Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Sly Stone - but also brought along influences as varied as Humble Pie and The Zombies to the mix, and brought a completely fresh perspective to the approach The Badge was taking with its new material.

Teamaker had helped found New York's The Powder Monkey's in the 90s, and had since produced four stunning solo albums since. The bond between Slate and Teamaker was instant and remarkable. They completed work on what was to become The Badge's next release in an eight-week flash of recording activity that marked a new phase in the life of the band. After years of struggling it had all become so easy. It was kismet. Karma. Destiny!

As the project rolled to completion keyboardist Matt Kalin jumped aboard the high-speed express that The Badge had become and the musical picture was complete.

In October 2003 "Calling Generation Mojo" was released on Detour Records, the UK's premiere mod label. Slate and Teamaker appeared in London to promote it and the reviewers stumbled over themselves to laud the quantum leap The Badge had made from its much loved debut album. "The Badge's White Album", "Sincerity may well be a disappearing sentiment in today's music biz, but The Badge are doing their part to make sure it never becomes extinct."", "Listening to The Badge's excellent second album, you can't help feeling comfortable and familiar. After all, The Badge DO wear their influences, not on their sleeves, but on their chests, like medals.." In any musicians lifetime such commendations come rarely. To get them for a single work was unheard of, and the boys of The Badge new it.

They hold up in Pla's studio - Sessions @ Pla - and honed their live act. They worked on new material. They recreated the Beatles infamous rooftop concert on the 35th anniversary of the event to wild acclaim. They returned to London and stormed the unsuspecting British music scene yet again. The world began to look like it belonged to The Badge.

As the music industry lies dormant in 2005, with more of the same-old-same-old, The Badge are working on yet another masterpiece that they will unleash on the world in late 04 or ealy 05.

Before that comes more touring. The US and UK should be so lucky. Germany, Switzerland and Austria, too. Catch them while you can in the cosy confines of your local club. Otherwise, you'd better get ready to line up to catch them at Wembley!

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Reviews


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Iain

The Badge-Road Worn and Proud
Collections of EPs tend to be mixed bags by definition. Most of what would be rejected for an album proper can be simply dumped in these places as fillers for fans. On the other hand they can be filled with hidden gems that fans will wish should have been on the album. Happily, The Badge have a CD of songs which fall into the latter category. Indeed the material on here is so strong that it could really be an album in it's own right. Yes, it's THAT good!

Criticisms levelled at previous album Calling Generation Mojo were that it either lacked sonic depth, that the covers weren't that great, or that there was no cohesive sound, although the songs themselves were good. Time for the critics to take another look then. The Badge have seemingly honed their live show onto disc with few overdubs. This is the sound of four musicians on top of their game, sweating takes out in a basement studio, adding only what they thought was neccessary on top.

While the influence is retro, the outlook is positively immediate. Founder member Jeff Slate provides four tracks which emphasise both his no nonsense style of writing, and his knack of hitting into a groove that gets under the skin. The depth is pretty wide too, from the proto metal of opener Super Fine, to the Townsend influenced pop of Mixing Signals Jeff keeps the audience rocking along. This continues on Too Demanding, with a driving four chord rhiff and infectious instrumental breakdown, with Jeff emploring people to live for the moment. This quartet is rounded off with That Magic Feeling an epic, ragaish song, with more than a hint of Harrison and a spacey feel that carries the listener along and drops them, wondering where time went.

Writing partner Marc Teamaker contributes five, which show not only how he has settled in as their live guitarist, but how, like Slate he is constantly determined to raise his game. Make Me Happy holds an infectious groove, warm sound and carpe diem lyric that a listener can't help but find snappy. Jockey's Fields is a an excellent look into late 60's psychadelia with a hypnotic Slate bass line, while Spacey moves into the more poppier feel of that period, like Slate, keeping the audience up. Mara Mara again has a hint of Harrison about it in the spirituality of the lyrics, but also in the heavy minor guitar rhiffing going on. The track boasts some fine guitar and keyboard work, and hints at the epic. Count on Me Now itself is epic without being over bombastic and crass, and raises the bar on Teamaker's writing. A subtle ballad with a full feel, excellent guitar solo and some wonderfully subtle keyboard work from Matt, whose exemplarly hammond playing underpins the disc throughout.

The two joint compositions couldn't be more different. Scarlett Johansson is almost whimsical in places, a piece of psychadelic accousticness with the boys making like Bill Murray in Lost in Translation. Literary but fun. Equally as fun, but in a different sense, is the out and out Marriott inspired Random Road. Both guys belting out their best vocal performances over a guitar groove the Small Faces would have killed for.

In short you have a fine collection of retro influenced music by four talented musicians. Add it to your basket. I did, I look forward to adding more on the strength of it!
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J. Barret

Competant musicianship.
The EP Collection comprises of 3 EP's released between October 2004 to March 2005. Of the 11 songs 2 are really good songs, those being Scarlett Johansson and Count On Me Now which is the best of the batch. To counter-balance these are some really weak songs 3 of which I think shouldn't even have been included and something else should have been written instead. But of the 6 remaining songs there are 4 other decent tracks, Spacey being the better of these but Make Me Happy is also mentionable in its kitchness. All the musicianship is very strong on this collection but where the gulf between the good songs and the bad is a gulf that is almost un-bridgeable that brings down the overall quality of this collection. If you took the best songs you would have a very good 6 song EP indeed but as I said the overall collection is what has to be looked at and sadly this is an average compilation with really great moments.
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