Single Review: General Fiasco – Bad Habits

By on Thursday, 21st June 2012 at 12:00 pm

It’s exciting times for General Fiasco. On Wednesday the 6th of June, the band headlined a free concert to celebrate the Olympic torch passing through the Northern Irish capital city. Considering they could have chosen any Northern Irish band for this special event, the Fiasco lads should feel very proud indeed for being bestowed this honour.

Besides the Olympic nod, SXSW, and outings of a newer track called ‘The Age You Start Losing Friends’ that they’ve been airing on tour this spring, the young four-piece are gearing up to release their next album to be released in a few short weeks, called ‘Unfaithfully Yours’. Ahead of the big release day, they’ve already given us another taster to the material on this highly anticipated second album, in the form of the single ‘Bad Habits’.

Their 2010 debut ‘Buildings’ was comprised of singles like ‘Rebel Get By’ and ‘Ever So Shy’ and bubbled with the sprightliness of youth and youthful abandon, imploring “let’s get wasted”. Some have suggested that ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ may be a stark contrast to this ethos. After all the drinking and partying and you’ve been given some time to mull over what has come before, you might come to some realisations that you perhaps weren’t ready to believe. Or accept.

The start of ‘Bad Habits’ is heavy: a crashing riff that’s repeated, as if taken together they were part of a bigger wake up call. It’s interesting that in the first verse, Owen Strathern states that people’s bad habits aren’t thought out and show a lack of self-restraint; in the next verse he indicates some bad habits are “costly”, which makes me think he’s either talking about cigarettes, drugs, or some other contraband along those lines, something that you can get “tangled” in. He asks again and again throughout the song, “are you gonna let me in?” There is conflict here, of wanting to start a relationship. With someone with an expensive habit that seems to be clouding her judgment.

The best line, hands down, of this song is this one: “You’re smart enough to figure it out.” This is the end of the chorus, after the in your face “hey! / be my world / you’re all I ever wanted / hey! / take my heart / but I’m not here to spend and pay”. I take that to mean, I’m available, I’m trying to help. But if you can’t get it through your thick skull (and heart) that I’m the one for you and you can’t beat this bad habit, then maybe we’re not supposed to be together. He’s putting his heart out on the line, making it evident that she is the girl of his dreams, yet she’s wrestling with a wallet-busting thing in her life that she can’t shake. Or maybe the high costs of this habit are a metaphor for something else? The crashing riffs are so jarring, I almost feel like musically, they’re a clear sign General Fiasco have grown up, showing off these manly riffs. Strathern’s vocals are strong and emphatic too. Verdict: practically flawless, it’s a winner, folks.

Special thanks to @Jancey_ for making the lyric video at the end of this post, which was not only useful for ‘translating’ most of the lyrics to the song correctly but was also highly entertaining, with appearances by Pinocchio. I salute you.


‘Bad Habits’, the first single from General Fiasco’s second album ‘Unfaithfully Yours’, will be released on the same day as the album, the 30th of July, on Dirty Hit.



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