Bang Out Of Order


The WORK Group, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


After well over a decade of reviewing music in many of its different forms, I know an album is in trouble when I can't remember much about it immediately after the disc stops playing. The album might have had some entertaining music on it, but when I have difficulty remembering a lot about it, that sets off the warning bells in my head.

The reason that I mention this now is because I found myself listening to Bang Out Of Order, the debut release from Bond. I had been sent it to listen to some months ago, and just now found myself getting to it in the "In" pile at Pierce Archives Central (where our money is on McGwire, but our hopes are with Sosa). After listening to the disc, I sat back, and asked myself, "What did I just listen to?" I popped it in again, spent the 48 minutes plowing through the 11 songs on it, and... the same result. Uh-oh.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Led by Steve Eusebe, Bond combines a fresher-sounding alternative beat with well-placed samples in the music. Guitarist Jimmy Hogarth, bassist/drummer Scott Shields and keyboardist Martin Slattery round out the group - already setting themselves apart with such a wild combination of people and instruments they play.

The lead-off track "Starbucked" I first heard on the Zero Effect soundtrack a few months back, and the song was more than enough to stir up my curiosity about this band. Mixed with double entendres and a vocal sneer from Eusebe, "Starbucked" seemed to offer a lot of promise about this young band.

And, indeed, there are several cuts on Bang Out Of Order demonstrates uncanny ability that this band has. Tracks like "Nothing Fits (Fictitious Circle)", "Anne Grenade" and "I'm A Bastard" all are quite enjoyable, even if the music itself isn't incredibly deep. (Then again, nothing says that everything I listen to has to be as deep as reading Sartre in the john.)

The problem with Bang Out Of Order comes into play around the halfway point of the album. Many of the tracks tend to blend together, no matter how many times you listen to the disc. Songs like "Headspace Invader" seem to flow right into My Best Mate," even if you pay real close attention to the tracks. Once the music stops, any line between the songs is immediately erased.

In addition, some of the weaker material is stuffed close to the end of the album. "Dum Dum Blonde" is not a great work of art, especially when placed next to some of the great tracks on the album.

So is "forgettable" necessarily bad? No, not really - just the fact that you can tap your foot and hum along to some of the better tracks on Bang Out Of Order is reason enough to say that Bond has some promise. But in the end, when your friends ask you about an album, it would be nice to have a better answer than, "Uh...". Bang Out Of Order doesn't leave a strong impression in the listener's mind - and that is the major weakness with Bond.

I have no doubt that with time Bond will be writing material that you'll be talking about for weeks on end. It's just that Bang Out Of Order won't even sustain the conversation for one minute - possibly a sign of an inexperienced band. Here's hoping that they raise the bar next time.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of The WORK Group, and is used for informational purposes only.