Bangs: Sweet Revenge

Sweet Revenge
Kill Rock Stars

Sarah, Maggie, and Kyle absolutely rock! Plus, they cover Cheap Trick’s “Southern Girls.” Better? Sweet Revenge gets in your face, pulls your hair, and yells at you to play it. The Bangs are an Olympia, Washington band whose music is full-speed original. They take the stage, literally, with a huge chunk of energy and a catchy-tough sound. After you buy this album, check out the group’s fabulous scrapbook, which you can find on the Kill Rock Stars website, about making Sweet Revenge.

I caught them on June 7th at Modified in Phoenix, and that music space was packed with folks who were all about witnessing the Bangs. Chatting with Maggie Vail and Sarah Utter before the show, I learned that their tour ride was completely without air conditioning — a nightmare when you are in Arizona, not to mention the hike to L.A. from Phoenix the next day. Sarah said the band’s gigs with Sleater-Kinney were huge and good, but Maggie noted that their solo Texas stops were unfortunately sort of sparse and not too friendly. In fact, Sarah and Maggie almost had to crack some heads with their guitars, but the crowd came to its senses. At Modified, both were covered in glitter gel because they had been evilly hypnotized before the show by a cable TV program on Britney Spears’ tour of Hawaii. Luckily for all of us at the Bangs show, they broke right through the spell, thanks to no boob jobs and music they actually write and play! PHEW.

Kyle Ermatinger clocks his drums silly with intricate yet head and hip shaking beats. Sarah Utter’s vocals are melodiously raw and powerful, and she completely rocks out on guitar. Maggie Vail’s rips up the bass and fills the room with super harmonious back-up vocals and solid lead vocal work. Check out these three songs: “Train Wreck,” “Into You” (you can download this via MP3 on the Kill Rock Stars site), and “Scorpi-Oh.” These tracks are especially good, but the entire CD definitely should be purchased. If you get a chance, catch them at Lady Fest in August or anywhere you can. But you’d better hurry, because they are going fast.