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Bang Gang

Find What You Get

(From Nowhere; US: 2006; UK: 2006)

Iceland’s Bang Gang, judging by the music on the Find What You Get EP, should record a live album, and right away. The studio and live versions of the title track bookend this 16-minute disc, with two additional songs stuck in between, and the concert recording of “Find What You Get” blows everything else out of the water. The studio take seems like it’s shooting for propulsion, the bass throbbing along and the acoustic rhythm guitar providing a steady cushion for a fuzzy electric lead. But it only builds slightly toward what should be an effective climax, and ultimately fizzles when it should explode. The live version rectifies this and more: the tempo is noticeably faster, the electronic touches add appropriate space-age weirdness without overpowering everything else, and most importantly Bang Gang approach cacophony at the very end. They don’t quite get there, but it’s a whole lot better than the comparatively sterile sound of the studio track. As for the others, “It’s Alright” is mostly acoustic, lyrically repetitive (people in each other’s arms, over and over, forever and ever), and apparently a “radio edit”. The piano-centric “Follow” is draggy but more musically varied, with Bang Gang’s much-touted “organic-electronica” in full display. While the musical facility on this disc is commendable, Bang Gang are strongest when they bring their rock-and-roll chops to the table.

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