Sometimes the press inadvertently does the marketing for a band. Metro Pulse called the Royal Bangs "nerd fantasia." Well, their stage gear included amps for drum loops plus keyboards to control a laptop. Music by and for guys who spend too much time starring at a monitor.
The Royal Bangs were also once likened to "Radiohead vs. fifteen bottles of Southern Comfort." That has a stumbling, out of control sound to it; ominous even for Radiohead fans.
Ryan Schaefer and Chris Rusk put the Knoxville based group together in '02 and by '06 the line-up had solidified. Signed by Audio Eagle records the group issued their debut, "We Breed Champions," in '08. A set at that year's Bonnaroo Festival (in Manchester, TN) earned good notices and it looked as though Rusk might achieve his goal. "I want to save just enough souls to be able to buy an Escalade with a Jacuzzi in it!" Apparently he is a man of simple needs.
A BBC critic stated that those who like their "Rock a little rough-hewn and happily unaffected" would appreciate '09 release "Let It Beep."
Moving to Glassnote Records, Royal Bangs issued "Flux Outside in '10. Nearly a half year later they made their TV network debut on the Late Show with David Letterman.
The group added bassist Dylan Dawkins to the line-up prior to recording their fourth album, "Brass." The set was produced by Black Keys' Patrick Carney.
2008 We Breed Champions
2009 Let It Beep
2011 Flux Outside
They have cars in Knoxville and that means they have garages too. Obviously, that's where the Royal Bangs' basic elements fell into place. Don't let all the electronics and loops distract, the Royal Bangs are a garage band at heart - and a very good one at that.
During the first week of release, the most popular MP3s from "Brass" were "Better Run," a slice of guitar Rock, and "Octagon," with its "livin' in the real world" ethos. Good as those songs are, it's the one in the middle, "Orange Moon" that has an irresistible groove of a great Rock/Pop confection. Later, the group returns to their melodic side with "Hope We Don't Crash."
The album incorporates varied styles in such a likable way that only a spoiled sport would nit-pick about the origins.