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Bang! Bang! - Decked Out Review

by Wayne Moore

Without harboring any preconceived notions about the style of music Bang! Bang! offers, I played their new CD three times back to back in quick succession this past weekend. My impression's, you ask? Bang! Bang! makes no secret here as to their major musical influences. Twelve extremely short, early to mid eighties style pop/punk songs with fair to average song structure. Continually conjuring-up overly repeated vocal choruses and mono-tonal vocals for most of the album.

The compact disc provided by Bang! Bang!, left me wanting more. There really could have been more substance to the music without killing it, guys. At least you could have tried to be a little less repetitive on one or two songs. But I suspect they draw a major amount of input from the dance clubs they play for. Not to mention the demands their fan's put on them. It seems the individual's drawn to these clubs are fueled by the notion the more obscure the lyrical references a song possesses, and repetitive the band's music is, the more irreverent the club is that allows them to play? So a band is born, not of talent, but more of popular demand.

During most if not all of the song selections I kept hearing strong hints of the B-52's/Oingo Boingo in all of their melodies. And I had trouble finding very many, if any new-style lyrical offerings out of this twelve-song CD compilation. Yet overall Bang! Bang! grew on me. Painful as it may be for me to admit, they did make this work uniquely their work.

Being a relatively new Chicago club scene band, Bang! Bang!, tries desperately to keep the faith to this genre of eighties-style music, and I give them credit. Knowing all this, it would be very interesting to see if given more airplay how far this band could ultimately go".

Also worth noting this album could have easily been a semi-successful sound track for the movie Weird Science. I know that I'm basically date stamping Bang! Bang's! work perhaps, but my positive contention here is not so poorly representative of their music.

The band employs three members: Jack flash, Gretta Fine, Mike Wednesday. Jack belts out short but powerful notes mostly on key with no vibrato. While his counter-part, Gretta Fine, while almost as good, sings as stark contrast to his style, purposely-souring most if not all of her notes. Of the total contents found on the CD, these first three tracks examined are the best offering:

"These Days are numbered" sings as the title reads, numerous repeated choruses root this song deeply into your head until you find yourself singing it repeatedly throughout the day. The male vocalist on this track isn't hiding the fact he tries to imitate Fred Schneider at all. This song is somewhat commercial, and with the proper marketing twenty years ago could been a moderate hit for them.

"Falling, Falling" Gretta Fine sings like Blondie on helium, with little back up from her male cohort. Relying slightly more on her own sense of lyrical style than trying to sound like anyone else, I think its all accidental, yeah right. Don't worry Kate Pierson, or Cindy Wilson she tries to copy you guys later on.

"Creep walking" Gretta Fine talks through the song more than she sings. Strong background keyboards with eerily sounding notes try to compliment her? Good beat, but I could have done without the talking.

In closing I'm afraid there aren't many tender love ballads or love songs here, just heavy drumbeats and bass driven dance songs. Throw in some macabre keyboards and melodies with a punk desperately plucking on the guitar and you've basically described Bang! Bang! Dance music, you bet, unforgettable meaningful poetic renderings set to music, I think not"!

Track List:

1. Days Are Numbered
2. Falling, Falling
3. Creepwalking
4. Nervous Tic
5. Get Up
6. Sex Beat
7. Radio
8. Peeper
9. No Real World
10. Daddy O War
11. A Love So Fine
12. Undercover

CD Info and Links

Bang! Bang! - Decked Out

Label:Morphius Records

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