After making a cryptic post on his official Facebook page last week, Tom Waits has announced that he will release a new full-length record of original material on October 25 via Anti- Records. This will be the first from Waits since Real Gone, which was released seven years ago. The new record is titled Bad as Me, but upon listening to the first single of the same title, one will find that it is misleading, seeing as the song itself is better than bad; it's good!
The song begins with a signature janky drumbeat that Waits became known for, specifically the kind found on the first track, "Big in Japan," from 1999's Mule Variations. Although the vocals may not exactly be in league with the raspy, grunting Cookie Monster style that he is known for and more like the type found in Captain Beefheart's "Ice Cream for Crow," they are still definitively Waits.
The lyrical content is where Waits shines, proving that his talents continue to sharpen as he ages. One cannot help but become transfixed in the conflict that is established in the song and the way the rhyme scheme pans out. It is reminiscent of a Mother Goose nursery rhyme, except this one is about blood, thunder, nudity, Jesus, Mother Superior, car accidents, insomnia, and rampant alcohol abuse. It illustrates the kind of seedy characters that Tom Waits has always been fascinated with, touching back on records like Rain Dogs or Swordfishtrombones.
Musically, it's also a throwback to that era of Waits. With twangy guitar riffs that resemble ones found on "Jockey Full of Bourbon" and a grating saxophone howling on from "Hang on St. Christopher." As a whole, it feels like vintage Duane Eddy, if Duane Eddy hung around sketchy dive bars and was best friends with Charles Bukowski.
Drink heavily and listen to the song here:
Bad as Me Tracklist:
02 "Raised Right Men"
03 "Talking at the Same Time"
04 "Get Lost"
05 "Face to the Highway"
06 "Pay Me"
07 "Back in the Crowd"
08 "Bad as Me"
09 "Kiss Me"
11 "Last Leaf"
12 "Hell Broke Luce"
13 "New Year's Eve"
14 "She Stole the Blush" *
15 "Tell Me" *
16 "After You Die" *
* Deluxe Edition bonus tracks
Waits also posted a video this morning about a private listening party that took place in a rusted junker of a truck. See for yourself:
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