Royal Bangs / Flux Outside / Universal
Experimenting; we’ve all done it. Common examples include devising maneuvers to detach a woman from her bra and giving certain ingredients a chance to create the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. Some practices fail while others succeed, giving us a signature way of doing things. Flux Outside, the third disc from Tennessee rockers Royal Bangs is a signature, rather than a stamp. Instead of copying the indie pop and here’s-some-synth trend, the trio introduce garage rock to neo-psychedelia and jam out to a playlist littered with funk, blues and electronic cuts. The gala of sound can be a bland first impression, as the layers of energy and instrumentation are strange (“Loosely Truthing”) and the originality speaks volumes.
Part of that element of Flux Outside comes from each member. Guitarist Sam Stratton and drummer Chris Rusk don’t push Ryan Schaefer aside when he’s wailing away on the closer “Slow Cathedral Melt”, an intoxicating blues mess dented with classic rock. Shred bombs like “Triccs” and “Grass Helmet” show the same unconscious compliments the friends give each other while “Bad News, Strange Luck” teaches a lesson on transition. Familiar piano chords add to the echo of a ballad before getting technical with prog rock and blossoming into a soulful roots session. Call it noise with finesse, Royal Bangs have unhooked music’s undergarments, leaving it naked, exposed and oddly attractive.
Download: “Triccs”, “Slow Cathedral Melt”
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