When we last checked in with The Bang Bang way back in early 2015, the young Milwaukee blues rock outfit was preparing to release its self-titled debut album. Since then, the quartet has become a regular on the city’s summer festival circuit and put out a follow-up EP, Funny Love. Friday, almost nine months to the day those three songs came out, The Bang Bang’s catalog will grow by eight more songs with the release of the band’s self-proclaimed “Midwestern Gothic” departure, Bridges.
Recorded in Madison at Kyle Urban’s Motorco Studios over a series of single-day sessions spread throughout a year, Bridges captures the energy of a Bang Bang live show, and with good reason. Each instrumental track was recorded live to tape in Urban’s fully analog studio, with singer Katie Rash topping the mix with vocals she recorded in the studio’s bathroom-turned-makeshift isolation booth. The hazy fracas kicks off in wild style with the William Faulkner-inspired album opener “Northwoods Narration” and rambunctious chaser, “Hey.”
The bluesy and bleary “Gossip”—which the band claims was recorded in just one take—marks a tonal shift in the predominately rowdy record, which continues on the dejected, President-panning “The Bright Side.” By the time optimistic ender “Everybody” slowly draws the record to a close, it’s apparent Bridges brought The Bang Bang to new and improved creative territory.
The Bang Bang will release Bridges at Company Brewing on Friday, November 17 as part of a Hear Here Presents show that also features Tigernite and Ako. The show begins at 10 p.m. and costs $5 (and includes a Bridges CD).