Bang! Bang! - Electric Sex (Cover Artwork)

Bang! Bang!

Electric Sex (2005)


The artwork might scream "retro" louder than a pair of checkerboard slip-ons, but Bang! Bang! have a bit more to offer than other recent new wave revivalists who have yet to realize that imitation isn't always a form of flattery.

Bang! Bang! definitely have their new wave checklist handy, but they've simply added a few more boxes to the end of the page. They've got the sassy boy/girl vocals, the dancey drums, and the bouncy bass lines, but they've also got some spidery guitar work that leans more towards Pretty Girls Make Graves or These Arms Are Snakes' more dance floor moments.

The band sound their best on this EP when they break up their retro passages with some post-punk flourishes like a kid with a Fugazi shirt throwing bows at a Go-Go's show. "Make Believe" starts to falter with its filthy disco feel and "wo oh" squeals before a jarring guitar riff creeps in and picks it back up, while "Electric Sex (Down On The Dance Floor)" sounds like a boring Cramps song before a noisy interlude full of shard-like chords, scattered drums, and vocal outbursts claws at the ears for attention. "On Fire" might be the only track where Bang! Bang! get the mix completely right. A dance rhythm and 70's punk chorus collide with jerky riffs that pound at the fret board.

There are plenty of pop melodies and danceable moments on Electric Sex but many of them are so familiar they aren't even fun anymore. With the retro craze sure to be just another flash in the pan for the music world Bang! Bang! will need to further incorporate their post-punk and noise influences if they hope to survive.