Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crooked Bangs-s/t LP (2012)

I stopped following the Austin scene around when WorldBurnstoDeath dropped that monstrosity of a second LP  and Storm the Tower broke up, but Crooked Bangs has piqued my interest anew in Austin punk.
  Crooked Bangs' debut LP offers just the catharsis I need on a washed out Thursday night: midtempo glum rock that wears its Misfits influences on its sleeve, especially in regards to the vocals. As it happens, I can't stand about 95% of the Misfits' recorded output, but that's intended as a compliment to Crooked Bangs. They dish out eleven tracks of mid-tempo punk that reveal them to be much better songwriters than Danzig and co. ever were: this LP confirms my view that punk bands stand or fall based on their rhythm section.

Whereas most punk bands spew forth a mess of guitar squall with the drummer thudding away somewhere in the background, CB's drummer and bassist converse with the guitar: the result is an album's worth of songs, as opposed to a gurgling mess masquerading as such.
"C'est Iutile" is a precis of the Bangs' talents: the song opens with a measured riff that fights for space with the lockstep drumming, while the singer intones about..uh...something useless?
"Le Beau Tetard Sur Son Cigare" is the best'un here, though: I'll be humming the bass/guitar line to myself til I pass out in a fog of Gordon's gin and Drum tobacco, and the beat is so snazzy you could dance to it, if you're inclined to do such things. Dance punk at its finest, folks, with no annoying irony or self-consciousness to be found (seriously, didn't we all get into punk 'cause we can't cut it on the dancefloor, among other places? So why does every punk I know dance like all the cool kids is watchin' him/her?).

Anyways, I give this a ringing DrugPunk endorsement: if I ever again meet a girl who can stand me for more than 10 minutes at a time, a Crooked Bangs song will be on a mixtape for her.

Listen to Crooked Bangs HERE. Then, go buy their LP from Western Medical Records!

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