Crazy Fucking Dreams

Written by: PP on 17/12/2013 23:10:49

Some years ago I was blown away by the drunken sailor-style ramblings of The Hold Steady's Craig Finn on "Stay Positive", and ever since then I've been on the lookout for anything remotely out there. One of these matches is a band called Bangers from Cornwall, UK, who are on their third album with "Crazy Fucking Dreams". Although they opt for more of a punk rock interpretation of the lyrics-driven approach by The Hold Steady, they're similar enough to draw the parallel, and equally fascinating in their lyrics department.

Though there are no keyboards here, instrumentally Bangers draw plenty from both The Hold Steady, but also from the introspective, indie-flavored punk rock of now defunct Attack In Black in their expression. It's a raw soundscape that's ideal for small basement-type, intimate venues, but that doesn't prevent their vocalist Roo Pescod from delivering his gravelly, honest lyricism in a way that far surpasses most of his comrades in the punk rock scene. Yes, occasionally they are far more pissed off (read: punk rock) than the aforementioned two bands, such as on "A Quite Different Coastline", but for the majority of the time they simply feel like a bastard style between those two groups who decided to explore the rebellious punk rock scene instead. Melody-wise, they are mid-tempo, casual punk rock songs with few relaxed trumpets adding flavor on the background. Yet the additional instrumentation makes all the difference in the world separating Bangers from being just another punk rock band into being something different.

But while the instrumentals are good in themselves, it is in the lyrics department where Bangers truly shine. These are sung and yelled by their vocalist in his charismatically whiskey-drenched vocal style, which switches between rambling analysis, poetic contemplation, and anthemic sing alongs celebrating some aspect of life in general. Already on opener "A Curious Mix" he provides some frankly astonishing lyricism for a band in this particular subgenre:

"A curious mix of humbug and decency", it's how a great writer described a nation that he'd fallen in love with. Against all better judgment, he mourned the decline of the patriotic intelligent. He talked about the people as 'a people'. What romantic semantics. Seemed obsessed by society's structures. Thought socialism would save us...

In general, the songs on "Crazy Fucking Dreams" follow a story-telling format, much like Craig Finn's songs with The Hold Steady, and that's what makes them good on paper. But what makes them great in practice is the anthemic, yet unpolished delivery on the album. These songs really come to life through Pescod's golden throat, and need to be heard. It's always refreshing to hear punk rock pushing the envelope a little bit, and this is one of those rare cases where that is definitely the case.


Download: A Curious Mix, The Local News, Blind Hindsight, The Woods
For the fans of: The Hold Steady, Attack In Black
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.10.2013
Beach Community / Waterslide

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