“Psycho Cafe” (re-issue) by Bang Tango

Artist: Bang Tango
Title: “Psycho Cafe” (re-issue)
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 3/8/2011
Genre: Hard Rock/Funk Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

The world of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock was changing dramatically at the time that Bang Tango made their appearance and started to become a mystery sensation on the MTV Network. If you were a fan of the slowly rising Power Metal you hated this stuff because it knocked that genre to the side and even helped put a lot of the now labeled Traditional Metal and Rock bands off to the wayside as a “new order” was planned by the record companies. The interesting thing about Bang Tango was their getting signed to the powerful MCA Records without even so much as a demo but I guess the phrase of “it pays to know people” can be used for that or perhaps the company just felt there was something big in store for the group. Anyways, despite my own reservations about the bands impact they had a decent amount of fans and now thanks to the folks at Metal Mind Productions they can relive the bands earliest glory as they aimed to make a lasting imprint on Rock and Roll history. The label has re-issued the two full lengths and the live EP that were released on MCA in 1989 through 1991. Looking back on the bands major label debut “Psycho Café”, I had to say that depending on what kind of music you were listening to was going to effect your perception of the band. If you loved the likes of Guns ‘N Roses, and perhaps bands from the Glam side like Faster Pussycat or even L.A. Guns in some sense you might enjoy them but if you were following the Power Metal scene, the popularity of this kind of band was only adding nails in the coffin of your genres visibility. As one of those kinds of listeners, I wanted to hear this band in the here and now and was glad to find the re-issue being done as this was a critical time in music history.

As an album, Bang Tango’s “Psycho Café” was not all that bad as singer Joe LeSte, guitarists Mark Knight and Kyle Stevens, bassist Kyle Kyle and drummer Tigg Ketler really showcased some solid Groove Rock and Funk chops. The album starts off with “Attack Of Life” but it was the second tune “Someone Like You” that got some immediate airplay on the Rock radio stations of the time and the ever popular MTV countdowns of the day. I also enjoyed “Wrap My Wings” for its sleazy groove and “Love Injection” since I felt these were likely good songs in concert. The guys show off their ability to offer up a tasteful ballad with “Just For You” which is an acoustic tune. Listening to this whole thing so many years later I can safely say that it was alright for its time but easy to see how they didn’t get all that far as a band based on too many other similar acts with similar sounds all touring the same circuit. The re-issue comes in a digipak case like most of the MMP releases and they offer up a twelve page booklet that seems to be a reproduction of the original release. There are lyrics and photos of all the members. In today’s music scene, there are two Bang Tango’s to enjoy if they are still your fancy. One finds the singer with other musicians and the other is the reverse of that configuration. This is a solid listen but one that is likely best for the bands longtime fans or music historians who focus on the genre and this point in time.

Track Listing:
1. Attack Of Life
2. Someone Like You
3. Wrap My Wings
4. Breaking Up A Heart Of Stone
5. Shotgun Man
6. Don’t Stop Now
7. Love Injection
8. Just For You
9. Do What Your Told
10. Sweet Little Razor

Official Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bang_Tango

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