Donna Morgan, Fine Times, Wilmington, Del., September 1983
A sneak attack can be fun if Bad Sneakers is behind it, as evidenced by their recently released debut album called – guess what? – “Sneak Attack”!
Bad Sneakers have been around with their same personnel and sound for about three years, appearing at clubs all over Delaware and parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Guitarist Marc Moss explained how the revolutionary idea of doing an album came about: “People would come up and say to us, ‘You should make an album!’ We’d slap our foreheads and say, ‘Cowabunga! Why didn’t we think of that ourselves?’ ” Indeed.
But writing and recording original music is nothing new to Bad Sneakers. With five formidable songwriters in the band, there is never a shortage of creative output, and they periodically head for their own Now & Then Studios in Georgetown, Md., to record demos of new stuff.
“Sneak Attack” was recorded at that very studio in February. After the basic tracks were finished, the Sneaks began performing again, finding studio time between gigs to overdub vocals and to add instrumental tracks. During this time, the album graphics were also initiated. Bassist Dale Dallabrida asserted that the recording went so well that, “Right now, we’re re-arranging the music so that our live show will sound like the record.”
The bottom line is that Bad Sneakers wants to attract the attention of a national record label: “A major label interested in signing a new act will look first for potential hit singles,” said guitarist Shane Faber.
With this in mind, the Sneaks have always worked toward developing a commercially marketable sound without sacrificing their style. The album is rife with layered vocals, dense guitars and slick synthesizers which show the band has kept a discriminating ear to its radio.
Not only is “Sneak Attack” produced, written, arranged and recorded entirely by Bad Sneakers, but its promotion is also being self-handled. Promotion includes TV appearances on Focus Delaware (September 23 on Rollins Cable Channel 2) and Opening Acts (August 24, 29, 31 and September 7 and 14 on Rollins Cable Channel 19; local club dates; and an official album release party at the Stone Balloon on September 2, when all the recorded songs will be performed. “Sneak Attack” is available at local record stores or can be ordered by mail from Now & Then Records, Box 9650, Newark, DE 19711.
Go out and see Bad Sneakers lace up a club crowd, then bring “Sneak Attack” into your living room and dance your Adidas off.
Now & Then Records
The cover of the Sneak Attack LP shows a video game by the same name. That’s an apt metaphor for an album of glossy, spectacular pop. With four vocalists and a lot of practice, the Sneakers have assembled a vocal performance that rivals Yes in their earliest (pre-“Fragile”) days. The guitar and keyboards are strong, putting the whole thing somewhere between Queen and the Jack of Diamonds. Hot songs are “Can’t Stop,” “Diamonds In The Dark” and a fun-poking stab at the bar scene called “My Angel,” with the refrain: “I found my angel if my luck holds out tonight.”