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Bang Sugar Bang – Thwak Thwak Go Crazy

Bang Sugar Bang is a great name for a candy-flavored rock band with punch, and that’s exactly what they are. This L.A. threesome is infectiously catchy, blending today’s pop-punk with the 80s’ speed and harmony and 60s’ pop sensibility.

They’ve got the dynamic of X on a serious sugar high with a steady diet of The Daily Show humor. In fact, the opening of “Major Label Interest” is a pretty clear rip-off of the intro to “White Girl,” -but rather than the great track it’s imitating, it’s a mediocre song with a joke told first by NOFX in “Please Play This Song on the Radio.”


They’re better when honing their sarcasm on songs like “The Machine Gun Song,” with Matt Southwell’s vocals reminiscent of the B-52’s Fred Schneider and lines like “If I could be anything/I’d be a machine gun/’Cuz every time I see you/I’m sorry I don’t own one.” The humor goes the other way in the equally witty “Tony,” bassist/singer Cooper’s gibe at “scenester Tony…he’s so cool, he’s boring.” Her vocals are not just polished but buffed to an impossible shine.

There’s more speed and sleaze in the aptly named “Sex Beat,” but the song that really sums this band up is “Sunday Night,” a tribute to the night out at the punk club that includes shoutouts to spiritual parents John and Exene, and has the feel of a sweaty, beer-soaked bar full of your favorite dirty punks. Sugar-sweet and sassy, Bang Sugar Bang prove pop-punk doesn’t have to be repetitive or juvenile.


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