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Let It Beep

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Album Review

For their second album, the Royal Bangs are back on Patrick Carney's Audio Eagle label, and their sound is, if anything, even more insane than it was the first time around. The band's basic modus operandi is set out on "War Bells," the album's opening track: it's trashily electro-infused guitar rock, with (ironically?) intense, clenched-throat vocals and (definitely ironic) Ronettes-style handclaps. "Poison Control" opens with a lick lifted directly from Gang of Four, but then slides slyly into a brilliantly poppy chord progression. Lead singer and keyboardist Ryan Schaefer sounds a bit like he's trying to channel Bono on this song, a tendency that creeps in elsewhere from time to time but doesn't generally become strong enough to distract. What does start to grate after a while is the general messiness and occasional claustrophobia of the band's overall sound, but that may be a conscious production decision based on the high likelihood that these songs will be listened to almost exclusively as compressed MP3s. With that in mind, the grungy funk and world percussion bedlam of "My Car Is Haunted" and the queasy guitar sound on "Brainbow" both make a little more sense, and the startlingly pretty "Waking Up Weird" is even more startling.

Customer Reviews

One of the best of 2009?

Reviews of Royal Bangs draw comparisons to Pavement and Radiohead but frankly I don't hear it. This is a UNIQUE sound that will rock your socks off. I mean, check out track number 11. The rhythm of this song is a shuffle ... have you EVER heard that from a rock band before??? Other tracks show creative depth and awesome experimentation with percussion and electronics.

This record is a breakthrough for the band and perhaps for American music in 2009. This will make many "best of" lists.

Cool synths

Love the beats for running. Not often you hear a unique new sound - these guys have it. Better each time i listen to it . Highly recommend.

'Bout time!

I was raised in Knoxville for 18 years and I don't know how this sound came out of "there"! I've been listening to "My Car Is Haunted" over and over again. (Still looking for the lyrics!) The sound is 'jungle-angry', motivating, and allows listeners of almost every genre to; enjoy it, jam w/it, hop around to it, dance with it and on and on. Whoa! This is good stuff! Looking forward to listening to the rest of the album. Thank God for SiriusXM's XMU channel. But not for them, who knows if I would have heard it. Definitely recommend!


Formed: 2005 in Knoxville, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Indie rock trio the Royal Bangs make rambunctious experimental rock with a bent toward '90s noise rock. Formed in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2005, the Royal Bangs feature former high-school friends singer/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Schaefer and drummer Chris Rusk as well as guitarist Sam Stratton. The band posted its music online and eventually caught the ear of the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, who signed them to his Audio Eagle Records label and released their debut, We Breed Champions, in 2008. The...
Full Bio
Let It Beep, Royal Bangs
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Customer Ratings