Archives for category: Bang Ok Bang
Bang Ok Bang, The High Watt, photo- Brad Hardisty

Bang Ok Bang, The High Watt, photo- Brad Hardisty

Friday January 18th, The High Watt walls were rumbling to Bang Ok Bang in celebration of their new video release in support of “Always For You” off their recently released first EP revelating through a heavy groove dirge that can only be described as Trance Industrial Metal Blues.

Ben Lowry - Bang Ok Bang, The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

Ben Lowry – Bang Ok Bang, The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

Ben Lowry was whipping his guitars, both 6 and 7 string varieties through a Bass amp and Marshall half stack pumping the juice through the newly minted High Watt PA system, splattering bass all over the floor and rattling midrange through all the other gear sitting to the left of the stage.

Abby Hairston - Bang Ok Bang, The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

Abby Hairston – Bang Ok Bang, The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

Abby Hairston is probably the most passionate drummer in Nashville today. You can literally anticipate each crack, snap and UH! and determine the pace and dynamic as she throws her hair and weight all over the kit. Abby’s every crack of the stick seems determined much like Hill Country Blues drummer, Cedric Burnside.

photo - Brad Hardisty

photo – Brad Hardisty

Pulling songs from their EP such as “Chemicals Pt. 1 & 2,” and “Above The Surface,” Bang Ok Bang paced through a complete set that showed major growth and tightness since first kicking it out several months ago.

photo - Brad Hardisty

photo – Brad Hardisty

The set featured new songs that show how to take the heavy two piece into even more sonic space.

photo - Brad Hardisty

photo – Brad Hardisty

The crowd was an interesting mix of post high school, post EMO less than twenty somethings for opener ForeverandNever that was losing their bass player after this show and a crowd more akin to a singles bar for headliner BREE.

photo - Brad Hardisty

photo – Brad Hardisty

Somehow, it looked like each group of Apprecianados found something they liked in each set even though the three bands fit three distinctly different cliques and mind sets.

Abby Hairston, photo - Brad Hardisty

Abby Hairston, photo – Brad Hardisty

One of the most amazing things was how tight the two have got to matching each other in the slow down mid song breaks as well as groove changes with ease.

Bang Ok Bang, The High Watt, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Bang Ok Bang, The High Watt, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Bang Ok Bang may be ready for David Letterman in 2013.

The High Watt, Joe Strummer on Mens Room Door, photo - Brad Hardisty

The High Watt, Joe Strummer on Mens Room Door, photo – Brad Hardisty

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Last Friday night, after trying to figure out how to get from West End across the I-24 construction zone to East Nashville on surface streets (can you say, “Where the hell am I?”), I barely made it in the door at 11 PM, at The 5 Spot in Five Points for the CD Release Party, get near the stage, Ben Lowry (guitar) glances up and then Abby Hairston (drums) says, “Brad! Ya Made it!” and Bang Ok Bang starts into one of the loudest sets I have heard at The 5 Spot.

Bang Ok Bang/ The 5 Spot – Photos – Brad Hardisty

Bang Ok Bang, is the latest project that puts Ben on guitar instead of Bass with The One Through Tens (The 1-10’s) where Abby also rocks on the skins.

This is a lot heavier and a little more insane then The One Through Tens.

Bang Ok Bang joins the A-list Nashville two man bands, The White Stripes (RIP), The Black Keys and Jeff The Brotherhood. The only difference is Bang Ok Bang would be a great opener for somebody like Queens Of The Stone Age or Slayer.

Ben puts a twist on Chet Atkins picking style by covering the low end through an Ampeg Bass rig, with some gnarly snaking fuzzy bass lines a la Vincebus Eruptum, with stripped down Ministry- influenced- at- Motorhead speed chords and notes through a Marshall.

The only other player I have seen that simultaneously can play the low end and the chords and melody like a total fake out is Lightnin’ Malcolm, the bad ass one-half of the 2 Man Wrecking Crew with Cedric Burnside.

How does the two-man-heavy-stoner rock go over at The 5 Spot? Well, the room was packed where they were the third band up and everybody pulled away from the bar and crowded the stage, grinning and kind of thinking, “Is this guy really pulling off Dickie Peterson and Al Jourgensen at the same time?”

Hey Mr. Marshall meet Mr. Ampeg and try to keep up with Abby. Abby was a solid Bill Ward influenced box beater going from kick to heavy thrashing of the Toms between solid grooves and stoner prog breaks.

With songs like “Above The Surface”, the tender titled “Always For You”, not to be confused with an Everly Brother’s number and “Chemicals Pt. 1 & 2”, I think it is time to pull a two man band festival.

Okay, bring back The White Stripes one more time and let’s have Lightnin’ Malcolm & Cedric Burnside, Jeff The Brotherhood, The Black Keyes and Bang Ok Bang all on the same bill at The Ryman. I would pay $100 to see that show.

Ben’s vocals are what you see is what you get punk rock ethos. I don’t think he could pull off a Josh Stone or Freddie Mercury anyways. Hey, but that’s okay, it’s dang close to Blue Cheer with a healthy Ministry grinding to keep heavy freaks and East Nashville hobnobbers  showing up at the same venue kind of like a Crema Cuban Triple Espresso with a Rooster’s Texas style Brisket Sandwich with all the spicy 911 Jack’s BBQ sauce you can handle.

If I had to compare them to any regional scene band it would be Black Tusk out of Georgia witnessing a little “Hillbilly Voodoo” at a Southern Gothic movie convention in Cordova, Alabama with Ministry providing the soundtrack, Juicifer providing cocktails and Henry Rollins on vocals.

I picked up the “limited to 150” new EP CD and it sounds great. Four songs to irritate office workers as you roll down the window of your Ford Fiesta and crank it full volume. I have number 86/150 and I won’t take less then 5K for it okay, so don’t even ask. If you want yours, you better show up for their next set at The Zombie Shop on July 27th.

Bang a gong, get it on!

 – Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com