Before I sat down to have a listen to this band myself I read that their music had been described as ‘a harder edged Fleetwood Mac’ and that it sounds like it could have come from a Tarantino movie soundtrack. Sometimes it can take a lot for me to really get interested in a band but I thought that that was one hell of a description.
Based in Yorkshire Bang Bang Romeo are Anastasia Walker (Vocals) Ross Cameron (Guitar) Joel Philips (Bass) and Richard Gartland. (Drums) They have previously been played on Radio 1 courtesy of Huw Stevens and this record was produced by Chris Kimsey who has worked with the likes of the Rolling Stones and INXS. In short, according to the people who make it their business to know these things these guys are going places, and I have to say that on this evidence I agree with them.
Screaming guitars and big imposing drums greet the arrival of opener ‘Carnival.’ A version of rock n roll based chaos then descends before the whole affair strips back as an almost hypnotic vocal from Walker glides into pride of place at the forefront of the track. I mentioned above that their sound had been likened to a Tarantino soundtrack and the reason why is immediately evident, this song really wouldn’t have been out of place on something like Kill Bill. That or a Bond theme, it’s just got that kind of rangy atmospheric feel. The way that the brooding verses give way to harder and bigger sections is fantastic; it’s a brilliant way to kick things off.
The first word that came to mind when I heard ‘Reach Out’ was ‘galloping.’ The drums at the start of the track mixed with the pulsating bass line just gallop; trust me on this one, it will make sense if you’ve heard the track I promise. The musical comparison that I mentioned in the intro to this piece was to Fleetwood Mac and that is evident in a big way here and frankly this makes me a very happy man in my massively tired state on this beautiful autumnal afternoon.
I’m a huge Fleetwood Mac fan so I think the presence of that kind of sound in a new band is brilliant. It’s just the way that the song is put together, especially the hook which heavily echoes the rock legends and on top of this in places Walker executes a remarkably Stevie Nicks-ish style vocal. That’s not to say that this track is some sort of tribute because it really isn’t, there’s more to it than that, but it just has that unmistakable retro quality while retaining a fantastically modern freshness. I must also give a shout out to Cameron for the now expected great guitar work; impressive stuff.
The final track ‘Johannesburg’ is so breathtakingly smooth it’s unreal. There’s a hint of California rock (sort of) about the whole thing and I really like the way that the lead vocal mixes and intertwines with the male backing vocal. The blend of the two voices is exquisite. Much like the rest of the EP this is a very impressive effort.
I have a feeling that I may have already given it away but I really quite like We Were Born. Each track demonstrates a different side to the band, and they carry off each style change effortlessly. It’s a rare thing but there are no weak links in this band, but I’m absolutely in love with Anastasia Walker’s voice it’s one of the best vocals I have heard for some time.
Without a shadow of a doubt We Were Born is a candidate for record of the year, Bang Bang Romeo have got it all.
We Were Born is out now.