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Bang! Bang!

The Dirt That Makes You Drown

(Morphius; US: 1 May 2007; UK: 18 Jun 2007)

Now this is odd. Bang! Bang! are a band made up equally of two guys and girls, provoking a number of interesting questions: who makes the artistic decisions? Does everyone get on well with each other? Nonetheless, they inject catchy-as-hell hooks into their rough, brazen indie-rock… a bastardized cross between the White Stripes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs if you will but, you know, better. It’s hard to pick a “lead vocalist” here, as all four share vocal duties throughout The Dirt That Makes You Drown, but swooner Gretta Fine pulls off a very convincing Karen O moaning “Goddamn what I really think we need is love!” in opening track “What We Want”. There’s plenty of ear candy to be found elsewhere, too; “All Messed Up” is straight-up post-punk of an Arctic Monkeys calibre, “I Could Die” slams organ hard on a guitar break, and “She Came From Outer Space” goes from dancehall to spoken word to vitriolic snarl without totally letting go. It’s an album exceedingly hard to put down on paper, as it refuses to be tied to any one style: “Hush hush hush hush”, someone whispers in one of the tracks, before bellowing “You gotta do what’s right!” Forget Jack and Meg, The Dirt That Makes You Drown is a hook-filled jumble of cuts abrupt enough to be a home studio recording, yet it’s a great, fresh-sounding new release that deserves to be up in lights.

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