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Album Review

WE SAY BANG!
Now, THIS is GARAGE!!!!!

I have really got to start writing things down. Not too long ago, someone posted a link to a band called We Say Bang! and, like the numbskull that I am, I took a vacation before following the link. When I got back, I clicked and something strange happened. I heard garage! Not old garage from the sixties, I am guessing, but honest to God garage from today and I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, so what? Here's your so what. I've heard plenty of bands emulating the sounds of the sixties and many of them do a damn good job of it, but garage? Not so much. They play the notes, but they can't get the feel. It's like taking a bunch of European folkies and handing them a bluegrass tune. The can play the notes, but not all that convincingly. Of course, I have to backtrack on that a bit. Musicians are becoming so sophisticated and immerse themselves in various genres so intensely these days that the occasional you-got-it breaks through. Again, for garage, not so much.

I knew We Say Bang! had it from note one. There was something in the voice that screamed mania. By the time they got to the chorus a few measures later, I was dragged through the time tunnel. I don't know what vocalist David Hedin has been drinking, but I'd like to buy him a round to make sure that voice remains the same. I hear a combination of ghosts from my past--- Sky Saxon, Roky Erickson, Gerry Roslie and a handful of others--- and I am dumbfounded. Musicians from all over have tried to capture the past, especially the sixties garage and psych past, but few have approached these guys.

It's not just the voice, either. The basic guitar, bass and drums lineup gives We Say Bang! that raw and minimal sound necessary to pull it off. More than three chords, yes, but not too many more. Have to keep it simple to keep it honest. Jacob Gibbens does his share, keeping the drums loud and pounding. Nothing fancy. Fancy would ruin it. Adam Hernandez cranks up the bass just enough to drive the train through walls and Hedin? What can I say? The guy must have gotten here through a time warp. You want the manic side of The Seeds? Thirteenth Floor Elevators? The Sonics? Even The Music Machine, though who could reproduce Sean Bonniwell's vocals? We Say Bang! gives you enough for you to know just how close they are.

Tell you what. You shouldn't be reading this. You should head right over to the band's bandcamp page where you can find their album, Ignite, ready for download at a name your own price cost. Download it. Listen to it. If you think you didn't pay enough, and people who are really into garage probably will think they didn't, contact the band and pay some more. Better yet, scope out the various venues in the Seattle area and go see them live. Something tells me they drink out of pewter mugs. Music this intense can break glass.

And whoever supplied the link to these guys, I owe you a big one. Grab your pewter mug and meet me at a We Say Bang! gig! First one's on me! Wait a minute! I just remembered. The Putters' and 667s' Nathan Hill posted about these guys! Crap! I already owe him a keg or two. Oh well, who doesn't like a party?

Frank O. Gutch Jr.


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We say bang