Label: AOR Heaven 2011
Review by Alan Holloway
Last year, I rather enjoyed breaking my Bad Habit cherry with their impressive compilation "Timeless", which showed a highly competent melodic rock band not afraid to chuck together big, wimpy songs that ticked all the right AOR boxes with a fluffy pink pen. Well, they've resurfeced with full album number ten (which doesn't include the best of's two bonus tracks) and they show no sign of slowing down or metalling up, which suits me fine.
"Atmosphere" (thankfully no Russ Abbott covers here) is one of those albums that could be given out at the AOR academy on the first day with the instruction 'Do it like this', as the students arrive with their cans of hairspray and vintage F.M shirts. In the notes, it mentions the importance of a 'Big Fucking Chorus', and this is adhered to throughout, be it with lighter waving power ballads like "Fantasy", or more AM radio friendly stuff like the opening track "In The Heat Of The Night". Bax Fehling has a very good voice for this sort of stuff, although quite generic, and although you're not going to be leaping about with the air guitar there's plenty of nice solos Sven Cirnski that the 'R' in AOR stands for Rock, after all.
Bad Habit are a fine example of radio friendly melodic rock, sitting somewhere between early F.M and the more mid paced moments of Danger Danger. They rarely get up a real head of steam, and I could have done with a few truly kick ass rock tracks, but they do what they do very well indeed, and nothing here fails to get the head nodding and the foot tapping. Pure AOR, delivered and produced to perfection, "Atmosphere" is a very hard album to dislike, so I'm not going to try..