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American Bang

American Bang


Ben Brown - lead guitar

Neil Mason - drums

Jaren Johnston - vocals, guitar

Kelby Ray - bass, backing vocals


When I think Nashville, I think music and maybe NASCAR, but mainly music. The city and even the state has bought us generations of great tunes to fill out ears with. The new wave may have just hit with American Bang. The rock band formed in 2005 and released a self-titled album under Bang Bang Bang that same year. After signing with their label, Warner Bros. Records, in 2006 they changed their name to the now name. They released their first EP under the new name in 2007. They are now here to engulf our minds with their first full-length album under the American Bang name and their label. The self-titled album features 11 tracks. The album gets things started with “Whisky Walk.” It begins like it was the end of the show with an array of drums. It then goes silent then gets going again. The vocals slide in with their guitar side kick like Batman and Robin. They are both silky smooth that with just melt of the woman’s cloths, if they’re that way. It is a simple yet very effective groove that gets your blood flowing. “Wild and Young” is a huge track that has so much to offer. It doesn’t hit super hard, but hard enough. It’s the vibe and how catchy it is that will have you sticking around for the long haul. The vocals will burrow into your brain and shake up the brain cells. It is a great track and should get lots of looks. “Rewind” also has a great vibe with driving drums and a good vocal set. The track slows the album down a bit with the pace of the vocals. They are super clear and the “ooo’s” impacts that speed too. It track does have the effect because of those “ooo’s” to drag on for awhile. “Angels” keeps the album rather slow. The track offers up strange vocals that seem to work. They have a little bit of hillbilly accent to them that draws you to them. They might be the best of the album to this point. I was scared the way the song started, but they surprised the hell out of me and I really enjoyed the emotional track. “She Don’t Cry No More” turns up the intensity and beat up a bit. The track is nice and smooth while it lays down a huge set of lyrics that will have you raising your eyebrows. Although the track is solid it does remind me of a country tune more than a rock effort. “Hurts Like Hell” is a lot more of a rock tune. The catchy track will have you moving in no time at all one way or another. It has a great set of lyrics that are delivered with smooth vocals. The music also gets into the mood with some high flying guitars and driving drums. This is a great rock track. “All We Know” scales back again from high flying sound. Its more mainstream easy listening stuff for them once again. The music doesn’t really get you in the mood as the vocals just seem to stroll along without any excitement. “Wouldn’t Want To Be You” heads back to the southern rock that’s flirting with the country side of things. I can see the signing just standing up on stage swaying back and forth tapping his foot and the mic as he sings this track. I don’t see too much going on except that. “A Man Can Change” is a better offering. It has more to give as the vocals range out of the range that has been present on the rest of the album. The song has a bit more zest to it as they let the guitars and drums step up and go off. “Other Side Of You” is another okay track that slows the album down once again. It turns to the country side of things once again with simple and elegant vocals. The music is also right in that mode. It just glides past for the most part and the ending drags on. “Roll On” ends the album on a good note. They spice the track up with guitar solos and gang vocals which helps significantly. Almost the entire rest of the album doesn’t offer that and is just bland. “Roll On” is a nice piece in a lackluster set of track. Overall the album is just missing the intensity that a rock album should have. From what is on the album the vocals are good. They are clear, crisp and deliver the lyrics on a silver platter. With that being said thought, they need to range out more. There is only one track that they really range from the norm. the music is streamlined into one type. There are only a few times that they get to go off. The album is lacking intensity, but that doesn’t mean that the love show is as well. They did get their name from their live shows after all. I’d like to see the next album explore the harder side of things rather than the slow country side of things.  



Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Angels, Hurts Like Hell, Roll On


Track List:

  1. Whisky Walk
  2. Wild and Young
  3. Rewind
  4. Angels
  5. She Don’t Cry No More
  6. Hurts Like Hell
  7. All We Know
  8. Wouldn’t Want To Be You
  9. A Man Can Change
  10. Other Side Of You
  11. Roll On

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