Like many great punk records, this one’s almost over before it starts. While this isn’t quite great, it does cover all the hardcore bases: fast, loud, aggressive. The four song demo clocks in at just 5:39, but it lets up very little over that time. Bad Habit draws a lot from Minor Threat with just a slightly looser approach a la early Black Flag. They throw in a bit more melody on “Cancer” and it sows the seeds of being more than just another young punk band playing fast and angry. Remembering that this is a demo, a preview of the future so to speak, and that they’ve only been together about six months, it’s an exciting listen. The production is acceptable, but not exceptional and the performance is passionate and honest. Lyrically, they cover the typical topics of frustration, alienation and family breakdown and while the lyrics aren’t poetry (c’mon, it’s hardcore not folk music), they’re heartfelt. To keep things from getting too serious (something so many hardcore bands forget to do), they also throw in “Israeli Girl,” an ode to the girl of their dreams, Natalie Portman. I wonder if she’s heard it…
The entire demo is available on their Myspace page, but contact the band for a hard copy with lyrics (and a funny drawing of a hot dog).