GREATEST HITS - Bang Sugar Bang (Nicotine)
There's no doubt in my mind that teenage girls between the ages of oh, say 14 and 18 will take to Bang Sugar Bang's "Greatest Hits" like Courtney Love to a bottle of rotgut and a handful of Oxycontin, but let's face it - it's their job to love shit like this. To anyone else, it's nearly an insult.

From their contrived bio to their contrived pop/punk, Bang Sugar Bang fall flat on their collective ass by attempting to keep one foot firmly planted in the gutter and the other in the door of a major record company, ad agency, or MTV. Come to think of it, MTV is basically a record company and ad agency rolled into one, but I digress. According to legend, but more than likely their publicist's overactive imagination, the band formed after throwing a bunch of old school punk cassettes in a blender and deciding the resulting fire was some sort of sign. Yeah, a stop sign. Imagine if Donald Trump bought his daughter (in this scenario played by bassist/singer Cooper) and two of her friends (drummer Pawley Filth and guitarist/singer Matt Southwell, natch) guitars, drums, amps, and a six-pack of light beer, but forgot to buy them a clue, and, well, you get the idea.

Although it may have looked good on paper and even if their tongues are\ planted anywhere close to the vicinity of their cheeks, including two\ versions of the trance-inducing "Punk Rock Holiday" may not have been such a wise choice. "We need another revolution yeah 'cuz FM music's so blase/No one's got anything to say/I'm so bored with tunes today." Hmmm...I feel your pain.

What may have passed for revolutionary back in 1977 or 1978 now merely sounds tired nearly 30 years on. Slicing, economic guitar riffs are now the norm rather than the exception and cleaning them up and overproducing them into the stratosphere, like on "Let You Down" and "Explosion," only makes things worse. As for Cooper's voice (an interminable combination of Nina Hagen, Lene Lovich, and a hyena)? Don't get me started... A quick glimpse at the lyrics, which range from couplets like "You are ice/Just like desire/Hot to the touch/You burn like fire" to "I ain't got no tattoos and I'm runnin'/But the ground won't give me no room and I'm shakin'" merely underline the fact that Bang Sugar Bang have nothing to say and 12 different ways to say it.

Cellphone ringtone punk at its very worst. - Clark Paull

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