At the risk of sounding like a giddy tween school girl having her first eargasm listening to a favorite boy band, American Bang’s self titled debut album is nothing short of phenomenal. I just want to jump up and down on my bed and scream my head off whenever I play this record. Not since Black Stone Cherry’s debut disc have I been this excited by listening to a rock album.
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, American Bang is the perfect blend of southern rock, country, and hard modern rock. Their unique sound and style is what sets them apart from the other bands out there today. American Bang does not try to imitate anyone, instead they present themselves. That tactic has worked, because their self titled debut album is proof of what a fantastic group they are.
Lead singer Jaren Johnson’s voice is the standout component of American Bang. Johnson has a rock and roll throat with a southern twang that creates melodic, mesmerizing vocals. His talent behind the microphone is amazing and his ability really stands out on songs like “Wild And Young” and “I Wouldn’t Want To Be You”. Johnson’s unique vocal style helps to separate American Bang from the plethora of carbon copied new bands out there.
The praise of Johnson’s voice is not meant to undermine the ability of the rest of the band. Ben Brown’s lead guitar chops are superb, and the rhythm section of Kelby Ray (bass) and Neil Mason (drums) round out the group perfectly. This is a band that makes magic together and that magic is evident on their self titled debut.
“Wild And Young” is one of the best songs on the record and rightfully so. A terrific song about youth, enjoying the best years of your life and living for the moment, “Wild And Young” is a song that just makes the listener happy. Even if you’re crotchety and old, you will find the lyrics emulating from your mouth after a couple of listens. “Wild And Young” is a blazing song.
“Angels” kicks off with nice acoustic plucking and Johnson’s high twanged voice telling us a story. By the time the bridge has completed, we are in love with this song. It has a soft, sweet feel to it that captivates the senses. Angels will be a big radio hit, once American Bang decides they want to release it.
“She Don’t Cry No More” follows and hits a little harder, as this song is a more of a rocker than its predecessor. Fast guitar and a quick drum beat highlight this song as the rocking good time that it is. Bound to put a bounce in your step, “She Don’t Cry No More” is a blazing good time song.
“Wouldn’t Want To Be You” slows things down again, but not in a ballad way. This song has more of a bounce to it. An excellent groove kicks off the song and carries throughout. The bounce and twang lead into the chorus where the rhythm lifts to a slightly faster level, before settling down to the steady pace of the verse. Reminiscent of early Black Crowes, “Wouldn’t Want To Be You” is southern rock done right.
Overall, American Bang is a stellar debut album by a magnificent band. I see great things in the future for American Bang. They should be around for a while, rocking the masses. Be smart and get in on the greatness early by picking up a copy of their self-titled debut album.
Rating: Out of 10
- Whiskey Walk
- Wild And Young
- She Don’t Cry No More
- Hurts Like Hell
- All We Know
- Wouldn’t Want To Be You
- A Man Can Change
- Other Side Of You
- Roll On
American Bang Is:
Jaren Johnson – vocals, guitar
Ben Brown – guitar
Kelby Ray – bass
Neil Mason – drums