Bad English's Corporate Grammar
In its debut American show Thursday night at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, Bad English showed that it has no problem conjugating all the verb forms of '70s-style corporate rock--not to mention its natural fluency with the idiom's nouns and adjectives.
That's to be expected from a new group whose lineup includes Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon--two veterans of Journey, the CEO of '70s-style corporate rock.
While Bad English added nothing new to the corporate lingo in its 70-minute early show, the band, fronted by British singer John Waite, did render the style in a clean, melodic fashion that at its best recalled Foreigner, one of the genre's best practitioners.
Waite was able to bring a sense of urgency and authentic emotion to Bad English's better songs. But any formula grows tiresome after a while, and Bad English was not able to move beyond the narrow boundaries of the arena sound or the usual, cliche-ridden lyrical themes of sexual excitement and stormy romance. Bad English did seem intent on establishing an identity apart from its predecessor bands, though, playing nine songs from its debut album, plus a slow blues and an encore of ponderously rendered chestnuts from the Rolling Stones and Jeff Beck.
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