The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

BANG TANGO - PSYCHO CAFE / DANCING ON COALS /

AIN'T NO JIVE... LIVE!

 

RE-RELEASES 2011


Metal Mind Productions

 

 

Bang Tango was always one of my favourite bands of the late eighties scene that centred on L.A.’s Sunset Strip. I still believe that they were one of the most original bands that roamed those streets in those days; taking a less than standard interpretation of the whole cock-rock genre they fused hard rock, glam and added a big dose of funk. I still can’t go past Psycho Café as being one of my favourite albums of the era.

 

Re-releases are a funny business though, sometimes it gets done right sometimes it doesn't but in an industry where labels and artists are all looking for more ways to make a dollar they are certainly here to stay. Poland's Metal Mind Records has sort of got it right here and as a label they are worth checking out with a series of re-releases as well as material by original artists.

 

Licensed, I believe by the label rather than the artists involved if you are looking for added value then it’s a bit of a mixed bag here – only second album ‘Dancin’ On Coals’ contains any bonus material but all of these releases are beautifully packaged with a variation on the original artwork, additional notes by the label and booklets that again differ in format from those first releases. You also get them on a beautiful gold disc that sounds great, and of course all are stamped with a limited number (each being limited to 2000 copies).

 

 

 

 

Bang Tango - Psycho Cafe (re-release)

Label: Metal Mind Records
CD Digipak (limited edition of 2000 numbered copies)
Release date: 31.01.2011

Tracklist:

1. Attack of Life
2. Someone Like You
3. Wrap My Wings
4. Breaking Up A Heart of Stone
5. Shotgun Man
6. Don’t Stop Now
7. Love Injection
8. Just For You
9. Do What You’re Told
10. Sweet Little Razor

 

Musically for the uninitiated the band’s debut album from 1989 is a killer CD. The album itself managed to delivered hard rock riffs, funky bass lines, powerhouse drums, and memorable rhythms all set against singer Joe LeSte's rather different vocal. It’s something a little different and when it first hit received a lot of acclaim especially from UK press like Kerrang who seemed to latch onto the fact that this wasn’t just another LA wannabe band.  

 

Musically the album is killer – and I still play it to this day, it’s dated well and the sheer quality of songs like: “Someone Like You”, “Breaking Up a Heart of Stone”, “Attack of Life” and “Love Injection” mean that I’ll still keep playing it for years to come.

 

If you don’t have this in your collection, your collection is incomplete.

 

by Mark

 

 

 

Bang Tango - Dancin’ On Coals (re-release + bonus tracks)
Label: Metal Mind Records
CD Digipak (limited edition of 2000 numbered copies)
Release date: 31.01.2011

Tracklist:

1. Soul to Soul
2. United and True
3. Emotion in Gear
4. I’m in Love
5. Big Line
6. Midnight Struck
7. Dancin’ on Coals
8. My Saltine
9. Dressed Up Vamp
10. Last Kiss
11. Cactus Juice
Bonus tracks:
12. 20th Century Boy
13. Futurama (live)

 

Dancin’ on Coals is a different side to Bang Tango, they still retain their essence, but you got the feeling that the label were clamouring for ‘hits’ as they did in those days. As a result whilst you still get a great album, with the great Bang Tango sound the quality is a little more variable and quite frankly some songs you feel must have been pushed for in an attempt to make a chart break-through. Still if you want killer songs then title track “Dancin’ On Coals” and “Dressed Up Vamp” as still two of my favourites from the period, combining that funky edge  with driving riffs. Elsewhere things get a little experimental on “Cactus Juice” which you will either love or hate and a little cynical (I thought) with the ballad “Midnight Struck” which just has the band sounding like any other LA band trying for a big ballad to catapult them onto MTV.

 

Here we do get bonus tracks in the form of two covers: T-Rex’s evergreen classic “20th Century Boy” whose groove really sits well with Bang Tango’s sound; and Hanoi Rock’s “Futurama (live)” as a big Hanoi fan it’s a great choice of cover and again feels right for the band.

 

by Mark

 

 

 

 


Bang Tango - Ain’t No Jive… Live (re-release)
Label: Metal Mind Records
CD Digipak (limited edition of 2000 numbered copies)
Release date: 31.01.2011

Tracklist:

1. Dancin’ On Coals
2. 20th Century Boy
3. Someone Like You
4. Midnight Struck
5. Attack Of Life

 

Is really an EP offering just five track and with no bonuses here. At the time I loved this and the UK tour that followed where the band went out on the road with female backing singers and took on a bluesier, funkier sound that was abandoned subsequently. The disc contains great live versions of some of their best known hits such as “Someone Like You”, “Dancin' On Coals” and “Attack of Life”, as well as a version of T-Rex’s “20th Century Boy” that they played on tour.  A bit of an odd release I thought at the time and I would of course have preferred a full live CD but back in the day it was a nice tour sampler and still sounds great today.

 

 

by Mark