Royal Bangs’ sound could be accurately connected to numerous archetypes of Modern Rock: the proverbial so-and-so meets so-and-so comparisons generally apply. Sometimes the Bangs sound a lot like important bands that people love, but, strangely, they don’t sound too much like any one in particular. They are new, fresh, jazzy and kind of raw. Surprisingly, Royal Bangs remain relatively unknown and in the last two years have gone from virtually being broken up to pedal-to-the-metal touring and recording.
The five-man group from Knoxville originally recorded their debut album We Breed Champions in drummer Chris Rusk’s garage more than three years ago. The initial reaction to the album was somewhat subdued and other opportunities arose for the band members, eventually resulting in lead singer Ryan Schaefer leaving Royal Bangs to study in Paris. The band found itself separated and on an indefinite hiatus.
But through the magical power of MySpace and an altruistic drummer who liked their sound, Royal Bangs were rediscovered (for the first time) and introduced to a number of important people who really liked their music.
After receiving Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney’s request for a demo via the band’s Myspace page, Rusk says he tried to act composed and submitted the original version of We Breed Champions. Carney loved it, remastered the album and helped the band promote the material. Resulting performances at Bonnaroo, The New American Music Festival and an invitation to open for The Black Keys on a portion of their most recent American tour have led to a renewed dedication to making music together and plans for a second album, to be recorded with Carney at his Akron studio next month.
Those attending a Royal Bangs show can expect energy packed songs, fast tempos and a melodic mixture of jazzy Pop and Rock that will probably remind you of a band you already like.
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