The highly anticipated début album from The Bayonets, Crash Boom Bang! has got to be one of the most exciting and engaging rock pop albums of the year. From start to finish Crash Boom Bang! is a schooling in brilliantly crafted songs, be it from slowly paced, heartfelt tunes to high octane rockers.
American Indie band The Bayonets consists of a core trio: On guitars and lead vocals is Brian Ray (Paul McCartney/Etta James), handling the drums is Oliver Leiber (Rod Stewart/Ke$ha/The Corrs), and on guitar and backing vocals is Lucrecia Lopez Sanz (Nube 9). In addition there was also a revolving cast of other fine and talented musicians involved in the recording of the album, as well as some superb mixing and mastering by Joe Zook and Eric Boulanger respectively.
Crash Boom Bang! is a fantastic guitar based album featuring 10 songs: 6 of which were released over the course of 2013/14 and 4 of which are brand new to the album. All the tracks are original compositions penned by the bands co-founders Brian and Oliver, and their dedication to getting the songs just right means that every single track both lyrically and musically shine.
I’ll take a brief look at each the individual songs on The Bayonets’ Crash Boom Bang!:
Crash Boom Bang! – Let’s start with the album’s title track! Crash Boom Bang! literally does what it says on the tin: It crashes, booms and bangs its way along complimented by thrashed guitars, ringing cymbals and some sizzling vocal work. (Full review of the single here)
So Easy Rider – Opening with a simple 5-note riff, the lyrics to So Easy Rider roll and tumble along to a primarily single-noted verse melody before the chorus lets rip and allows the melody to soar and the drums to pound. A screeching guitar solo gives way to a uplifting and beautifully harmonised bridge which only further augments the juxtaposed sections of the song.
Sucker For Love – The song that kicked it all off for The Bayonets, Sucker For Love is a bouncy and fun slice of pop rock. An infectiously catchy hook played on a retro sounding synthesizer provides the foundation for one of the most care-free and easy tracks on the album. (Full review of the single here)
Smartphone – Gritty and biting, Smartphone is a satirical, sideways look at the modern fascination with gadgets and their entailing pitfalls. The unrelenting guitars are complimented by pounding drums to create a striking and memorably rocking track. (Full review of the single here)
Voodoo Doll – A deliberately plodding, mid-tempo song, Voodoo Doll nicely utilises a jangling 12-string electric guitar which hacks away at the song’s riff. There is some nice intricate synthesizer work going on and subtle yet atmospheric background vocals and percussion throughout.
Vagabond Soul (feat. Steven Tyler) – A definite highlight of the album, Vagabond Soul is a heartfelt and reflective track. While not the fastest or heaviest song it is one of the most personal, with Areosmith legend Steven Tyler providing some screaming backing vocals and tasty harmonica. (Full review of the single here)
Whatcha Got – Featuring a more prominent vocal from the undeniably talented Lucrecia , Whatcha Got see’s her challenging the protagonists assertion that he is the greatest guy in town. Brian and Lucrecia trade lines brilliantly and you can almost feel the sizzling chemistry between the two. (Full review of the single here)
Cotton Candy – Another rocky pop song, Cotton Candy is grounded with a solid rhythm section provided by Oliver. The song’s cagey verses burst into an unashamed life during the choruses and a rising Queen-style guitar solo sounds like Brian May stepped into the studio to lend a hand. Definitely the album’s real sweet treat.
Last Man Standing – Featuring a sitar sounding instrument and Lucrecia primarily handling vocals, Last Man Standing drips with an exotic yet familiar Spanish/Indian flavour. As well as a general ‘summer of love’ feel, there is also a retro, Shadows-like guitar solo which makes this possibly the most 1960s sounding track on the album.
Big Man Down – Arguably the quietest, most downbeat song on the album, Big Man Down regales us with the story of a ‘big man’ (read into who the ‘big man’ is as you see fit) and his fall from grace. The intriguing storyline and dust-bowl Western delivery still makes the track interesting, a fact augmented by the New Orleans style horns section. (Full review of the single here)
Overall Crash Boom Bang! is a real blow-away-the-cobwebs summer album, and no doubt one that you’ll find yourself playing over and over again. While some of the songs linger in slower and more minor keys, overall Crash Boom Bang! has an undeniable upbeat, positive feel to it with the more downbeat songs serving to provide a nice relief from the albums more energetic and rapturous songs.
Crash Boom Bang! will be available from July 29th from their official website as well as anywhere and everywhere that sells digital music. And for those of you that just can’t wait, special preview copies available at The Bayonets’ album launch party on July 24th.