As a Massachusetts native, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Brockton, MA supergroup Van Buren Records develop over the years, both individually and as a group. To say the least, every name in the crew has put in the work several times over. They’ve explored different sounds, figured out what feels right, put things out, gone back to the drawing board, practiced, and ultimately, found a sweet spot that speaks for itself in the form of their outstanding debut project, Bad For Press.
13 tracks long, Bad For Press is a massively focused effort – no easy feat when you’re a group trying to bring so many different voices, personalities, and styles into the same space, especially when done with such grace and fluidity. Each track feels like a step further into the world of Van Buren, which is especially important considering the group’s Brockton, MA roots (I’ve written about this before, but when you come from a place like Brockton that isn’t nationally known for music, it’s commendable to embrace those roots and make the effort in bringing listeners to Brockton.) Working on this basis of shared experience and chemistry, the group carves out an illustrious world of sound, cohesive in sonics and sewn together through incredible lyrical performances, all of which play an important role in the grand scheme of the project while highlighting the role and personality of the individual member up at bat.
This marriage of individual talent and group chemistry – all aimed toward the same goal of making a thoughtful, well-executed, and exciting debut album – earns Van Buren Records the mark of a truly special team of talent. They all have a role and play it to the absolute best of their abilities, complementing one another in a way that makes Bad for Press the statement that it is; this is who we are, this is where we’re from, and this is what life is like. The perfect introduction to a must-watch group.
Needless to say, Van Buren Records hit their debut project out of the park, so be sure to tune in below. I highly recommend playing this one front to back without pause, but for some guidance, a few personal favorites are “Lil Haiti,” “No Interviews,” and “Looking For Trouble.”