The Gang - Zero Hits
Label: Absolutely Kosher
Release Date: June 3, 2008
At some point a new school of softcore punk made its way up the ranks, and though Absolutely Kosher Records discovery The Gang may have not ushered it in, they are certainly a part of its rise. The Gang’s latest release, Zero Hits has a heart like The Sex Pistols and the voice of a contemporary age. The band’s primal garage rock fuses lit by guitarist/lead vocalist Gary Keating and their glimmering synth-texted shutters from keyboardist Eva Johannesdottir produce wicks that burn on for long distances. The band’s rhythm section organized by bassist/backup vocalist Rich Bonner and the group’s revolving door of drummers, which trade off among Mike Roszhart, Danny Leo, and Pat Brennan, create scattering mobility and coarsely tired sprees. The music sutures garage rock and art punk happenings that are relatable to the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and Ted Leo & The Pharmacists. Zero Hits is fast paced and suffused with spacey synths that super coat the tracks in a glassy sheen, which has a kindred spirit to Joy Division’s paranormal synthy sputters and specters.
From the start, The Gang colonize fields of staggered vibrations with a punk sonorous and thundering bolts that underscore the raucous in tracks like “Fits and Shadow Fights” and “Sea So.” The band designs garage rock psychedelics in “One up the Sun” which have a dissonance and repetitive cycling reflective of David Bowie’s 1989 project Tin Machine. The avant chord patterns of “Heaven’s Happenin’” have an eccentric phrasing liken to Deerhoof, while the acoustic strobes of “Squatter’s Inc.” have a melodic iridescence with glassy synth beadings and fluidly rolling rails. The voluminous synth sputters along “Mann Drapp” are charcoaled in frazzled guitar chords which turn to a blustering haze through “The Man with Your Plan.” Both tracks have earthquaking gang vocals that resound of old school punk’s traditions of being loud, but the band takes their album down to low burning flames on their final track “There’s a Beach at the End of Pen.” The spacey synths and coasting melodic tides wick a meditative lure liken to Joy Division with ghostlike figures looming across the passages. It is the least abrasive track on the album and brings out the band’s melodic sensibilities.
The Gang are primarily from New Jersey, but according to their Myspace site, they reside and record in Brooklyn, New York. Their album, Zero Hits shows garage rock strife and softcore punk beading that is representative of old school punk but with a contemporary flair. The band has not quite distinguished themselves on their latest release, but they are working up to it.