The Bad Joke That Ended Well
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The Bad Joke That Ended Well


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"The Bad Joke That Ended Well - The Meteors Are Coming Album Review"

The Bad Joke That Ended Well are a five piece band from Bristol, who have just released their debut album through Little Paradise Records. Their style is hard to accurately pin down, helping to make this a refreshing and attention grabbing listen. This is, in part, down to the use of multi-instrumentation across the record, including banjos, a harmonica, an accordion, an organ and a piano, alongside the normal set up you would expect from a guitar band. While this album has folk leanings, it is not strictly a folk album, taking in a variety of influences, including punk, proto-grunge, alternative rock, psych-country. What sets them apart from most other alt-folk bands is their raw energy, combining an unconventional style with a dirty edge. Lead singer, Alex Studer, provides razor like vocals, that act to enhance their music.

Opening track Big Bag Of Wasps provides an instrumental start to the album, slowly building, while setting the scene for what follows. Next Of Kin, the second track, strides in confidently, introducing the vocals into the mix, while Bet You Didn’t Know That injects the proceedings dose of punk energy. Debonaire, a feisty rocker, with the sort of vocals that Frank Black would be proud of, is arguably the best song on the album. The presence of the extra-instrumentation works particularly well on this track, making it seem like it was deliberately constructed to give you a whiskey soaked slap across the face.

Shooting Gold represents the half way point in the nine tracks, stepping the pace down a notch as a more stripped down acoustic affair. The start of Here She Comes suggests a more restrained country number is coming, but within a few bars it changes into highly charged folk-punk. Eve Of The Sand is a more restrained tune though; a piece of melancholic balladry that feels well placed at this point in the album. Salt Mine is probably the least memorable track, but it provides a quite/loud dynamic between verses and choruses that works well enough. Album closer Therase starts with a gently picked banjo, then at about a minute and a half a solid beat kicks in. The spidery organ line and studio jamming that then follows draws slight parallels with bits of the first album by The Phantom Band. The hidden track on the album, a more classically folkish tune, sounds like the last drink of the night, capping off the album in an effective manner.

It is fair to say that these songs lack polish, which may deter some people, but the rugged feel of their music is also what gives them their attraction, much like the early recordings from the likes of Pavement, The Pixies and The Velvet Underground. All in all this is a band well worth checking out. You can download the album here.


- Music Junkie

"The Bad Joke That Ended Well - The Meteors Are Coming Album Review"

Zips in on an express banjo instrumental thrum, giving way to Band-like organ and accordion bounce in track two, wherein we’re introduced to Alex Studer’s dreaming gas station attendant voice, a bruised romantic intoning “I’ll watch the leaves come off the trees, I’ll wish the wind would let them be.” This is desert plains music, all long roads and rails to the horizon, oft-hard guitar adding riven steel to the country mix. ‘Shooting Gold’’s sticky fingered Stones balladry affords a rare break from songs urgently whipping along, pistons pumping, like flashing blue lights are gaining in the rearview mirror. Thrillingly distinct, brilliantly produced, this is a masterful debut. (Julian Owen)

- Venue Magazine

"Greg's Take On The Bad Joke That Ended Well"

Some people felt that Jim Morrison in his whisky induced poetic attempt at profound thought was taking free thought to far and that he was, perhaps, disillusioned to the world. None of them took a moment to comment on how utterly brilliant his psychedelic vocals were bathed in the light of Robby Krieger’s licks and Ray Manzarek’s organ (the instrument, stick with me here).

For those who think they swaggering voice and drunken blues were too much and I’m wrong, go listen to a Clear Channel radio station for “safe music.” Everyone else, prepare for the unexpected genius that is The Bad Joke That Ended Well.

Listening to The Bad Joke That Ended Well with headphones on and your eyes closed instantly transports you to images of the blues/poetry glory days of LA Rock. Raw, raunchy and rough around the edges, the six from Bristol have crafted a sound that challenges mainstream music. On first go around it is not hard categorize the “psychedelic garage Sci-Fi Americana blues” as, shall we say, unique. Abrasive and drunken, like Morrison and Cobain slinging quotes at each other at 4am after a night of drunken chaos, you’ll be in utter awe just being in its presence before you even realize the murky confines in which you are now tied to.

And it is absolutely brilliant.

The air about The Bad Joke That Ended Well is easily misconceived as novice and random. The eight tracks cling to a cleverness that must be sought out. Alex Studer’s vocals stream through as heavy headed and almost slurring but should not be passed off as weak. His ability to move through each track with originality in fact helps shape what makes The Bad Joke so great. John Turner, Matthew Davies and Jason Strickland melt into a cohesive instrumentation. The backbone of the sound, however, does not come from Studer’s vocals, Turner’s Guitar, Davies’ drums or Strickland’s bass. No. At the forefront of my mind is Eduardo Vizan Tascon simply transcendent organ playing.

With a keen eye for the genuinely original sound, indie label Stolen Body Records is releasing this sophomore album. From “Journey Man” to “Strangler” each track is one piece of a vintage blues covered psychedelic journey. Intensely memorable and evocative, The Bad Joke That Ended Well struggles to convince me there is anything remotely bad about the album. - Nanobot Rock

"No Country For Young Men"

Banjo plus accordion equals the sound of... no, that can’t be right. Julian Owen explores the singular sound of The Bad Joke That Ended Well.

Norris, bass player in The Bad Joke That Ended Well, has a simple explanation: “We don’t feel the need to change the riff if the riff is good.” Thus, a few weeks earlier, the group of young men on stage at the Louisiana who looked fit to chorus “Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining” in five-part harmony, instead locked into a motorifik groove you’d more likely hear echoing up from a Berlin basement club in 1972 and sat in it for ages. Immediately, Venue was hooked. “They are the anti-twee,” we recorded, “bringing an attitude pleasingly out of sync with the norm of their chosen instruments. When was the last time you saw a banjoist approach a microphone like [Metallica’s] James Hetfield? Further, that the song then broke into fleet banjo picking that wouldn’t frighten the Opry, hit a ‘Pinball Wizard’-like flying riff, and outro’d in an endless wave of – here’s something we’ve never written before – space-rocking country?”

Clearly, an explanation was required. It came last week, sitting outside No 1 Harbourside. In the meantime, Venue had worked out the story for itself: a bunch of friends with a deep love of country music pushing out in a new direction. You need to know the rules before you can break them, and so forth. The day before, Alex, lead singer, chief songwriter and banjoist, had returned from a 5,000 mile drive around the US. Of course he had. Musical pilgrimage to the Deep South, no doubt. So, Alex, let’s talk country. “We don’t really listen to that kind of thing,” he says. What, any more? “No, never. We don’t really listen to anything that would have banjo in it.” I pard your begdon? Poor Venue is more than a little discombobulated. It turns to Will. Will plays the accordion, and will surely help piece our theory back together. You must listen to at least a little accordion music? A long pause for thought, an outer expression describing an inner desperate wracking of brain. “I love Beirut,” he finally offers, slightly apologetically. OK, then so how in the name of...? “It just comes out like that,” says Norris. “Me and Matt [drums] come from more punk-rock bands in Hereford. It’s all about rhythm and maybe giving it a bit of guts. That’s another thing that separates us from the folk stuff.” A round-tabling of musical likes brings forth Everything Everything, indie electro-pop, LCD Soundsystem, The Jesus Lizard, Tom Waits, and – finally, banjo! – CW Stoneking.

Venue is not alone in being wrong-footed. “Remember when we borrowed that sound guy’s banjo?” asks John, the guitarist. “£500 banjo. He thought we were going to play it nice. Then we started and he looked as though he was going to kill us!” Seems the sound guy community is often troubled by the accordion, too. “I guess a lot of time they’re used by folkies and they want them to be quite audiophilish,” offers Norris. “We don’t really need a clean sound,” continues the man with a heavily deployed distortion pedal. “It’s not the point of what we do.” Although some sound would be good. When Venue goes to see the band again later that day – still only their sixth gig, having debuted in March – it takes four songs before the accordion makes it into the sound mix.

It’s a matter of collective pride in the group that they’re never had music tuition. Well, not much. Matt had three drum lessons, Alex had guitar lessons when younger, Norris none, Will stays quiet, and then John reveals: “I got my Grade 1 music.” Woah, professor! “That was my dirty little secret.” Instead, the clear musical empathy and unity of purpose is attributed to all having lived with each other at some point. “The discussions we have are relaxed, rather than band practice discussions where other things are going on. Less pressure.”

Back at that Louis gig, the lyrics appeared similarly unconventional, a series of non sequitur throwaway lines. Perhaps we weren’t listening closely enough, though, so tell us, Alex, what are the songs are about? “They’re a lot of nonsense. Nothing too deep. I don’t write about girls, anyway. No love songs.” A pause. “Well, I’ve got meaning for certain bits of it, but I wouldn’t explain because it would be... embarrassing. So we’ll say ‘throwaway lines’ and whatever you think it is, if it’s something brilliant, write that.” Later, he sends in a demo called ‘Soul Coffin’, and we’re able to hear him sing lines like “My lover she killed me with six inches of steel/Now I bleed in the kitchen while she rummage the house.” Yup, the Bad Joke have begun brilliantly. - Venue Magazine

"Album Review"

For a Bristol band on a retro trip to sixties San Francisco, The Bad Joke That Ended Well manage to sound pretty darn fresh on their self titled album. That, methinks, has a lot to do with the sheer energy that this band has injected into their music.

Alex Studer growls like a man possessed by a whiskey soaked version of Roky Erickson while that proper analogue style organ drives most every song like it was on a heady concoction of drugs (and I don’t mean paracetamol either). Guitars pop by randomly just to make a fuzz of themselves and there’s even a touch of Americana hiding in there even if the banjo gets kidnapped and forced to smoke crack before you can go walking down that dusty road in dungarees.

The banging choon –in the language of the street – of this short album has to be the deeply moody “Dance Of The Dead”. It’s got more reverb than a song should have and that, in an animal sacrifice kind of way, is just how it should be.

It is truly a holy beer drinking thing that they do. - Bluesbunny

"Review: The Bad Joke that Ended Well - Self Titled Album"

The Bad Joke That Ended Well return with their second album, this time on Bristol’s newest label, Stolen Body Records who have some very tasty releases coming up. Moving away from their country inspired last release, they’ve fully evolved, to become not only heavier, but adding a psychedelic flavour reminiscent of The Doors. They experiment more than ever with instrumentation, using banjo and organ to crack that tricky second album. ‘Journey Man’ spotlights the band’s New Orleans dirty-blues flair, all fueled by Jim Morrison-esque impassioned vocals. - Fear of Fiction

"Chris's take on The Bad Joke That Ended Well"

Ever buy an album a friend recommended only to get it home and realize it is absolute shit. Then you wish you had spent the $20 on something cool, like a monkey that plays the accordion? The self-titled album by The Bad Joke That Ended Well is not that album. Three words sum up my initial impression of this album. This Kicks ASS!

Hailing from Bristol, England, The Bad Joke That Ended Well’s self-titled album is their second release and is described as ” a garage rock, psychedelic and blues infused music with incredibly energetic shows.” I have to agree. The guitar, banjo and harmonica, played by John Turner blend well with the vocals of Alex Studer and the heady use of the drums, bass and organ by Matthew Davies, Jason Strickland and Eduardo Vizan Tascon.

With heavy use of guitar and drums with banjo and harmonica mixed in, “Journey Man,” “Mountains,” “Dance of the Dead” and “Strangler” offer songs that get into your head and totally rock you out.

The whole album has fast a psychedelic movement to it that reminds me of what music from the late 60s and early 70s would have been like; complete with acid trips and wild drug induced orgies. “I’m Not There,” “Hold My Hand” and “Rain Comes Down” offer a refreshing take on stereotypical garage rock, leading the listener to move to the music and leave you wanting more.

When this album came across my player, I must have listened to it at least twenty times, opening track to closing, under the guise of “soaking it in” for the review. Truth is, I really freakin like this album! Take my advice, go to their website, purchase the album and download and sit back for a far out ride. This band knows their shit.
- Nanobot Rock


The Meteors are Coming - Little Paradise Records - 2011
Available on CD and Download.

The Bad Joke That Ended Well - Stolen Body Records - 2012
Available on Vinyl and Download.

Journey Man from our self titled record has been used for airplay and free downloads on sites.



The band started in as a one man band in a bedroom but quickly evolved to the 5 piece it is today. Starting off playing with a more banjo originated sound the band also played around with folkier instruments such as accordion. All this is reflected in the first record. Still playing garage music but with a country twist. We have been playing together as a 5 piece for 3 years. The final piece of the puzzle was adding organ. Adding the organ has drastically changed our sound to what weve been looking for. We have released two records, one called The Meteors are Coming and the newest is self titled.

The band live and practice in Bristol but are from all over. The singer/guitar is originally from Switzerland, the keyboardist from Spain, The guitarist/banjo player has lived from England to Japan.

Some press:

“…prepare for the unexpected genius that is The Bad Joke That Ended Well” – Nanobot

“Stolen Body Records knows what the fuck is up. Heavy drug addled blues, booze soaked rock ‘n roll perversion. These dudes are keeping the English tradition of the fuzz drenched face melt alive. Do yourself a favor and buy that shit!”- Al Lover

“Dirty, gritty, nasty garage blues covered in swirling organs and throat shredding vocals that send uncomfortable shivers down the spine…Sounding somewhere between the Animals, Grinderman and Lou Reed” – Listen with Monger

“It’s a rollicking, drugged out, booze fueled romp of gritty rock and roll that’s sure to find it’s way into your dirty soul.” – NWMusic

“Abrasive and drunken, like Morrison and Cobain slinging quotes at each other at 4am after a night of drunken chaos” – Nanobot

“New Orleans dirty blues flair, all fuelled by Jim Morison-esque impassioned vocals” – Fear of Fiction

“…blues and booze-ified 60s-inspired jangly garage rock, with Cobain-like growls and enough fuzz to give you a bad case of cottonmouth” – Ongakubaka

“These Bristol lads have a new vinyl record out on Stolen Body Records, and there is a lot to like here. Lots of organ mixed to the front of the recording, and a vocalist that sounds as if he has sung along to The Sonics more than once in his life. Thus far, my favorite track off the album has been Hold My Hand. If this is a love song, it is one of the most drunken, embittered ones in creation” – SpaceRock Mountain

“Psychedelic garage rock with a dirty organ taking center stage. Bristol quintet The Bad Joke That Ended Well claw their way through eight tracks within half an hour on their self-titled album. These guys sound dirty as fuck, touching base with 13th Floor Elevators, The Doors and Pere Ubu. Grumbling distortion applied to gut-wrenching blues licks, topped off with hoarse lead vocals, with a surprising light sounding banjo probing through the dark textures” – Here Comes The Flood

“Bristol’s The Bad Joke That Ended Well return in full bloom, with their second full length, self-titled, away from the folk-wave cloud of their previous work where country and desert vibes ruled , The Bad Joke That Ended Well now deliver an album’s worth of full-psych-garage 70´s jams that if there was ever an second album that I’d recommend listening to , it would be this one.

Take my advice, this will be in my player for quite some time…” – We are the last beatniks

“A fierce excursion in to the world of psych-blues and rock” – Mad Mackerel