Bang Gang

Something Wrong | From Nowhere
By MATT ASHARE  |  April 23, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
The only thing wrong with Something Wrong is the band name: Bang Gang, the brainchild of Icelandic singer/songwriter/producer Bardi Johannsson, isn’t in the business of making anything resembling a raucous racket. It isn’t even a real band so much as a project led by Johannsson, who invites mostly female guest vocalists to deliver lyrics over his soft-spun textural compositions. Esther Talia Casey is the voice he turns to most often, and her æthereal vocals set the dominant mode here. She sings about dreams lost on the opening “Inside” (as in “Inside your heart”) while Johannsson blends his string arrangements, Fender-Rhodes keyboards, and organ drones so skillfully that you barely notice the absence of drums till they enter at the end. When Johannsson does sing, he sounds like Billy Corgan as he duets with Casey on the romantic piano ballad “Follow” and the dense, dark, even noisy electro-dreampop of the title track. Elsewhere, the throaty Phoebe Tolmer brings a little soul to the party on the torchy “There Was a Whisper,” Keren Ann (who elsewhere performs with Johansson as Lady & Bird) finds poetry in the undulating motion of “Forward and Reverse,” and Daniel Ágúst Haraldsson gets a bit bluesy over acoustic-guitar strumming, big booming bass, and a hard backbeat on “In the Morning.” It’s a lot of ground to cover on one album, but Johannsson never seems to overreach — not even when he’s covering “Stop in the Name of Love.”

Bang Gang + Kenna | Paradise, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | April 28 | 617.931.2000
Related: Packin' 'em in on Lansdowne Street, The 40 greatest concerts in Boston history: 2, Rock Band, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Billy Corgan, Keren Ann
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