Distorted Evidence of Distortion, D – E – D for short, is a self-described “masterminded collaboration, a faceless entity playing to the capabilities of your imagination.” What does all that mean? Well, on Bad Chemistry, it’s a mash of alternative, industrial, and synth rock with an emphasis on theatricality. The Melbourne-based project has put together a decent album, but it didn’t do all that much for me. Despite how serious D – E – D seem to take themselves conceptually, I don’t feel Bad Chemistry packed a tonne of substance.
Bad Chemistry has three piano-based interludes throughout, including one that starts the album. There are no recurring passages that I could hear throughout the three, but it was kind of a nice break. The album proper begins with a highlight track “The Chant of the Disenchanted,” a fairly heavy, digital-sounding rocker akin to a band like She Wants Revenge. Some other standout moments were the synth-poppy “Joanna” and the larger than life sounding “Faith to Face.” What I felt were the best tracks on the album all feature a good amount of instrumental layering, mashing digital and analog rather seamlessly. I really must compliment D – E – D on their ability to put together some pretty grand pieces of music.
Bad Chemistry isn’t a dud by any means, but I can’t say I was head over heels. The shaky vocals throughout the album are likely to be a point of contention for listeners; I thought they fit the project well enough but can be overbearing at times. One of the worst instances of this is on the song “These Ships,” which just kicks the warble into overdrive and just made the vocals sound weak. Singing style aside, songs like “Colour My Fantasy” and “The Inner Sense of Innocence” had far less interesting compositions than others on the album and found a way to drag on despite their fairly short runtime. And then there’s the matter of the two cover songs on Bad Chemistry. D – E – D bust out a cover of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” and Slipknot’s “Snuff.” While they’re both fine interpretations, the covers seem like odd inclusions for a band so concerned with establishing an original artistic statement.
Bad Chemistry is a good album to look into if you’re in the market for some theatrical rock music. There are some good melodies throughout and I thought the instrumentation was solid. While I did have some problems with the songwriting and stylistic choices, I think the main issue I have is with how D – E – D seem to want the album to be seen. Bad Chemistry is a fine album masquerading as something much more spectacular.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Mike Milito