Bang! Bang!

The Dirt That Makes You Drown

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The Dirt That Makes You Drown finds Bang! Bang! returning with two new members (both on loan from New Black) and a sound that is, if anything, even more frantic and crazy than before. On songs like "What We Need" and "Prefab Nation" the band sounds like the mutant love child of the Cramps and the B-52's -- warbly female vocals and junk-shop keyboards rub lasciviously up against Jackie Flash's gulping post-rockabilly amphetamine stutter while crappy guitars slap themselves silly in the background, and it all happens at about 80 miles per hour. At times they actually evoke a swampy version of the Dead Kennedys. What's not to like? Well, the tiresome spoken word indulgence "She Came from Outer Space," for one thing, and maybe the unnecessarily brooding "Dirty Fingernails," but that's about it -- everything else is lots of good, grimy fun. Don't waste time on the hidden track at the end; it's an experimental throwaway whose most notable feature is some backward-recorded vocals. Highly recommended overall.

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