Thursday, August 16, 2012

EP Review - Bang Ok Bang 'Chemicals'

Location:Nashville , TN, USA

Title: Chemicals

Track Listing:  1- Above The Surface
                      2-Always For You
                      3- One In A Million
                      4- Chemicals Part 1 and 2

Nashville, TN duo Bang Ok Bang sound unwell.They don't sound right.They sound, in fact, like they need a bath, a haircut, a breath mint, and perhaps a case worker.In terms of their involvement in polite society , this is possibly a bad thing, and may prevent them obtaining gainful employment and winning the respect of their peers.In terms of how that affects their approach to playing music however, their  being so filthy you run the risk of getting an ear infection just listening is obviously a very , very good thing.

This is the kind of noise your parents , and possibly  their parents were wary of when you first began to discover rock n'roll.It's the kind of music bad people with not much to do with their lives listen to, as they try and tempt you from a more righteous, but far less exciting path.It's burnt out music for burnt out people, and all the better for it. Over these  four all too brief tracks, the two-piece keep it  miminimal,  glue-sniffing, agit-blues that sounds a little like The Black Keys' cooler, heavier  older siblings enjoying a couple of tabs with MC5 and The Stooges. It's raw, beguiling  stuff, singer-guitarist Ben Lowry wrapping his honey-dipped drawl around some of the sleaziest proto-stoner riffs we've heard around here in a while, drummer Abby Hairston keeping things ticking over with some brilliantlyloose limbed percussive battery.

If it hasn't become obvious by now, I really , really like Chemicals, and by extension Bang Ok Bang.There's something about the band's disgustingly raw n ready blues/garage/fuzz cocktail that's down-right compulsive.Maybe it's the band's mastery of the lo-fi approach, maybe it's the way the songs crawl inside your brain and stay there for days, or maybe it's just the fact of hearing a band bringing it back to basics and nailing it so well, but either way, this is fucking fantastic stuff, and my only criticism really of the EP is that it isn't longer.This is what bands in NME think they sound like, the perfect fusion of sex , heaviness and danger, that elusive spark that marks all the best rock n'roll.Music to fuck and fight to, possibly at the same time. . . . though don't quote us on that.

Rating: 8/10
For fans of: The Stooges, MC5, Winnebago Deal, Heavy Glow,Mondo Generator.
Listen here:

Stephen O ' Connor

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