Smash Record is the first CD of original material from The Bad Examples since Kisses 50 Cents was released in 1995. Still, some of these songs will be familiar to anyone who has seen the reunited band in a live performance over the past few years. Singer-guitarist Ralph Covert might make bigger bucks spinning the whimsical tales of Ralph’s World, but he surely must relish the opportunities The Bad Examples give him to be, well a bad example.
The catchy “Your Ex-Girlfriend” depicts a genuine S.O.B. who taunts his lover’s former beau, all the while protesting, “There’s no reason to get mad at me.” “Your Problem Now” offers the flip side of that situation, while the more somber “You Don’t Understand Me” chronicles a couple splitting apart. Covert, who has lost none of his songwriting edge, evokes Squeeze with the clever lyrics and irresistible melodies of songs like “Pictures Of A Masquerade” and “Jayne Left Behind.” The Bad Examples provide more punch on “Big E Chord” and “Devil Is In The Details,” while “Gets All Messy” closes out this welcome reunion on a lighter, humorous note.