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Following up last year’s Re-Animate EP, Philly synth punk trio The Bad Doctors released its sophomore LP Burning City last month, and the album is distinctly ominous, yet totally catchy. The Key Studio Session veterans and and alums of our Philly Freshman Class of 2011 released the record on vinyl through the locally-based label FDH Records.

Some of the songs from Re-Animate are on Burning City, including opener “Prism, Mirror, Lenses,” as well as “The School of Athens” and “AC”. However, the band adds in the anthemic rocker “Sleepwalk” and the brooding “In Time of Plague.” During “Metamorphoses: Phaeton,” The Bad Doctors head in a more punk, less electronic direction. Most of the album has a Depeche Mode / New Order influence to it, albeit more keyed up and fleshed out. It’s a new direction, more mature than the band’s previous work.

In fact, most of the album has a distinctly dystopian  feel, from the title track to “Departure (Letter By Letter)” and “Red Shift”. It even ends with “The Big Bang” where the lyric “disintegrate” is repeated several times. Despite the heavy imagery, the songs are equally light, catchy and infectious. The dichotomy makes for a very good album.

Catch The Bad Doctors at their tour-kickoff show next Friday, August 22nd at The Pharmacy, and then Kung Fu Necktie in Philly October 7th. Get more details about the shows at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to “The Big Bang” below.