Bad Sneakers – ‘Tanooki Suit’


An intriguing album from Las Vegas-based Bad Sneakers, an anonymous conceptual artist, Tanooki Suit compels with an unpredictable balance of rock, funk, jazz, and art-pop that reminds fondly of Mr. Bungle. Thematically, the range is fascinating and well-executed — spanning from “Soleism” and Satanism to “Anarchy, Vintage Video Games and Anime.” The latter is reflected on the fun “Super Saiyan.”

“Dance Motherfucker” consumes in its contrast between its forceful chorus — “get down on the floor and dance!” — and the suave, rhythmically inclined verses. A playful guitar line rounds the two-minute mark, driving into a sporadic vocal delivery that reminds fondly of Mr. Bungle in its dynamic tones and capricious backing.

Another standout, “We Gladly Feast” evokes a sophisti-pop pull with its active piano work and clanging percussive rises. “They’re coming for us in the night,” the vocals let out, driving charmingly into the “lazy hillside,” hook with a particularly melodic impact and ensuing title-touting vocal rise.

“Soleism” shows well in its jazzy piano work and percussion, setting a contemplative and lounge-friendly mood. The title itself represents a core philosophical tenant within the project, reflected in its name; soleism is described by the act as “the journey of life was represented by the path one took, and that one’s sneakers, or soles, were a symbol of that path.”

With its ceaseless sense of intrigue and jumpy thematic grasp, Tanooki Suit is a riveting and unpredictable success from Bad Sneakers.

“We Gladly Feast” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of April 2023’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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