Album review: Starting Gun – The Bad Flowers

The Bad Flowers’ debut album “Starting Gun” is set to be released on Friday 16th February 2018. It’s an awesome debut from a band that have been on my radar for a while now. They are one of the new wave of rock bands that are really making their mark on the music scene at the moment.

I had a chat with Tom Leighton of The Bad Flowers about the upcoming debut album recently. If you missed the interview, you can catch up HERE.

Album review:

The album starts with the first single, “Thunder Child”, which was released last year and caught the attention of Planet Rock Radio. Tom Leighton (singer/guitar) told me, in our recent interview, that it was the song that helped the band get noticed: ‘I think the biggest turning point has been how much airplay our single “Thunder Child” got. The response to it has been incredible and really helped us get to be heard by new people who have become new fans and it’s got The Bad Flowers name out nationwide.’

“Thunder Child” is quite a trademark Bad Flowers song with the heavy riffs and melodies that make you want to dance and bang your head. It’s a fantastic rock song with glorious guitars and a pulsating beat along with the catchy lyrics and chorus. The video below gives an idea of the kind of energy the band bring to their live shows.

The second song on the album is “Lion’s Blood”. I’d heard this played live a couple of times before hearing the album version. It’s a great song. Heavy rock, like the first track, it continues the rocking vibe of the album. The lyrics for this one are motivational and drive the track. Tom has said of “Lion’s Blood”, ‘It’s about being brave and not being afraid to do what you want to do.’ The Bad Flowers are definitely not afraid of doing what they want musically; I find their music is always raw and honest. I think it’s the mark of a band that have something to say and are destined for greatness.

Song 3 is “Secrets”. It’s more of an introspective track than the first two but with a heavy rock sound like those songs. This one has an anthemic chorus with lots going on. It picks up tempo halfway through and is one of those songs that I think will be amazing live.

I first heard the band play an acoustic version of the next track, “Rich Man”, at the Planet Rock Christmas Party at The Jazz Cafe. It sounded awesome stripped down, more like a blues song. The electric version is fantastic, with a full-on rock sound. It’s heavy, stirring, with thought-provoking lyrics; the kind of song that makes you want to sing along and dance.

The next song “I Hope” was another that I’d first heard played acoustic at The Jazz Cafe. The album version is also acoustic. It’s like an interlude in “Starting Gun”, a wonderfully calm and heartfelt song in the middle of what is quite a heavy rock album.

Photo credit: Mark Varney

“Let’s Misbehave”, track 6, I found out in my recent interview, is one of Tom’s favourites. He said: ‘One of my favourites has to be “Let’s Misbehave”, just because it’s so different to anything we have written before, and the way the song flows and builds makes it so enjoyable to play—not just for me but for the whole band.’

It’s a song about not being afraid to do what you want to do, and not letting anyone hold you back. It starts off very slowly with poignant lyrics.

This tortured world that we’re living in is turning,
The sun’ll never shine where I’m standing, if I’m standing,
Killing time, just being alive is so demanding,
When I see the seconds tick by I feel I’m wasting away…

It builds to a wonderful chorus: ‘Life’s too short to behave…’

It’s a brilliant thought-provoking track with a lot of emotion.

It is definitely different to most of what I’ve heard from The Bad Flowers and has a really powerful sound. The guitar solo is awesome.

“Who Needs A Soul” follows. Tom says of the track: ‘With this we wanted to write a dirty groove filled rock blues song. Dale brought the groove with his bass lines in this for sure! It’s one of our favourite live tracks, and features lots of energy.’

They’ve definitely achieved what they set out to do with this track. It’s a groove-filled rock track with lots of glorious guitar and a dancey vibe.

“Be Your Man” is the next song on the album. I’ve heard this one live a few times and it sounds great. This is another heavy rock song; it’s driven by the vocals and it has a lot of fabulous typical Bad Flowers riffs and melodies. They may be at an early stage of their musical career but they really do have their own quite individual and identifiable sound.

The next song “Hurricane” originally appeared on their “Killing Time” EP, which I think is no longer available. It’s one of my favourite Bad Flowers songs and they play it live quite often. The sound reminds me a bit of The Cult. It’s a foot-stomping, heavy rock track.

“I Don’t Believe It” follows. Tom says of the song: ‘We wanted to make something a little heavier with this. It’s full of riffs and a BIG chorus. It’s super-fast, and features one of my favourite guitar solos on the record.’

This is another one that I’d heard live before I heard the album version. It’s great. Definitely a heavy one, and it has a fabulous groove.

The album finishes with one of the most well-known Bad Flowers songs, “City Lights”, one that appeared on their most recent EP released last year.

This is also one of my favourite songs. A loud and heavy rock track with a catchy chorus. The band made a video for it whilst in Camden last year.

You can pre-order the album at the following link:

The launch show will take place on 17th February 2018 at The Asylum 2, Birmingham. Details here:


The Bad Flowers’ debut album “Starting Gun” is released on Friday 16th February.

They tour the UK with Stone Broken and Jared James Nichols from Thursday 22nd February.

Follow The Bad Flowers:







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