Friday, July 22, 2011

REVIEWS: Bangers - Small Pleasures

Review By Tristan Fernie

Bangers have been mainstays of the UK scene for years now, cropping up supporting everyone from Chuck Ragan to Iron Chic, so it seems bizarre that Small Pleasures is the 3 piece's first 'proper' full length (not counting 2010's odds-and-sods collection Dude Trips). There's a curious world-weariness to the lyrics, counter-balancing the energetic pop-punk in a way that evokes Jawbreaker, or even Gunmoll's 'Board Of Rejection'. I can hear some Latterman and Leatherface, too, and not in the shameless rip-off sense that seems so popular with bands these days. Opening track 'Making Friends' rocks with a purpose and maturity the band previously only hinted at, achingingly personal lyrics about coming to terms with growing up ("I'm so terrified/that we'll all age and we'll all die) coupled with a satisfying crunch and chug that reminded me of Dillinger Four at their very best.
'Church Street In Ruins' is easily the best track here, bemoaning the kind of crass commercialisation ("more coffee shops than we could ever hope to drink in") and materialism ("I kind of find it offensive that everything's for sale") that's crept into Britain curteousy of America - backed by a triumphant repeated chorus of "the last thing I need is any more things". It's, for want of a better word, an absolute banger and seems set to join 'The Hard Way' and 'Excuses Be Damned' as a tune that'll ignite audiences into drunken singalongs. These are just two of ten absolutely excellent tracks, and I can easily see this ending up on my albums of the year.
With a US distributor in the form of Kiss Of Death Records, as well as appearances scheduled at this year's Fest in Gainesville, here's hoping that Bangers keep "making friends" (sorry) abroad, spreading the news of a burgeoning UK scene far and wide.

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