BangBangBang! - BangBangBang!
Record Label: New Slang
Release Date: July 2008
Female fronted Brit trio BangBangBang! are very much a tale of two popular alternative genres from either side of the Atlantic. On one side, there's the scuzz-punk of The Ting Tings, Blood Red Shoes, and the rest, whose fast rhythms and catchy hooks have taken a firm grip of the UK indie scene as of late. And on the other lies the pop-punk of America, the All Time Low's, the Cartel's and, most significantly in this case, the Paramore's. While undeniably fun to listen to, it's a type of music that is slowly drowning in its own abundance, as the more groups there are, the less teenage pocket money each band will get. It gets a bit boring, anyway.
Though it would be wrong to write BangBangBang! off as a cheap British copy of the swarms of Blink 182 worshiping groups around at the moment (indeed, BangBangBang! stray more to their own country's take on pop-punk than America's), it would be impossible not to mention Paramore when evaluating such a record. The vocals from female singer Natalie Chahal ring out with a Hayley Williams-esque screech, and some level of influence is clear, but don't be fooled by that. BangBangBang! have their own point to prove.
Like fellow English south coast rockers Blood Red Shoes, it is in fact Nirvana, and even music as far back as 70s punk, where BangBangBang! acquire their driving force. Grungey riffs and hard-hitting rhythms make them an instant toe-tapper, while the catchy gang-vocals and hooks bring them up-to-date and into the scene. This short, sharp, free 3-track EP represents the band's sounds perfectly - energetic blasts of noise, a no-fuss way to get a crowd moving about. They may be a rather plain-tasting cocktail of a couple of thriving, if slightly saturated, genres, but that doesn't stop it being fun.
The opening track, "Fashion Victim," is an irresistible shout-along, and its feedback engulfed hand-claps make it a surefire rock club hit. You get the feeling that "Shake of Les Bleus," a 44 second interlude, is the sort of song that could work well as a break on a full length, but is more like filler on a 3-track. But again, it's up-tempo and dance-inducing.
So overall, Bangbangbang! aren't the sort of band that stay with you forever. They don't bring much new to the table, and would do well to go in their own direction a little more. They may lack in creativity and certainly don't make any meaningful musical strides, but expecting them to do so would be kind of missing the point.
BangBangBang! are probably best summed up in two words. A quick spin when you're bored or an action-packed night out at one of their gigs...