BANG TANGO – Psycho Cafe [Japan HR-HM 1000 reissue series] (2018)
Universal Music Japan has started this year a curious but more than welcomed campaign: the reissue of long time out of print albums from their catalog titled ‘HR/HM 1000‘, that meaning Hard Rock / Heavy Metal at the price of 1000 Yen = about 9 USD.
After playing the Californian club circuit where they made a name by themselves with hot live shows – one of them recorded and released by themselves – BANG TANGO were signed by a major and recorded this pretty killer “Psycho Cafe“, their official debut album.
Whenever a trend is hot, major labels will inevitably jump on the bandwagon and try to milk the trend for all it is worth. Hair Metal was no different; when hair bands and pop-metal were huge in the late ’80s, plenty of A&R folks at major labels signed as many Bon Jovi and Poison-like as they could get their hands on.
But not every hair band that signed with a major label in the late ’80s lacked integrity, and “Psycho Cafe” underscores the fact that Bang Tango made some of the more substantial and worthwhile contributions to L.A. glam metal during that era.
Bang Tango’s approach on this 1989 release is best described as a combination of Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses and Led Zeppelin mixed with heavy funky rhythms.
Alongside classic hard rock riffs and sleazy vocals, “Psycho Cafe” definitely incorporates funk — and infectious tracks like ‘Shotgun Man’ and ‘Attack of Life’ make it clear that Bang Tango was far from an exercise in style over substance.
For those who know their history, it really shouldn’t come as a big surprise that headbangers who were into Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses were also into R&B; Steven Tyler and Joe Perry certainly never made a secret of their love of soul and funk, and James Brown’s “Mother Popcorn” was part of Aerosmith’s repertoire back when they were still playing small clubs in the early ’70s.
“Psycho Cafe” rocks hard, and the hair metal sound of the era is best represented in the album’s hit “Someone Like You”, a great catchy rocker listed on many magazines, websites, etc among the best song from the era.
Sure, the band sound on many songs like Guns N’ Roses, but as said, in fact the influence of both is Aerosmith. Just listen to ‘Breaking Up A Heart Of Stone’ or the acoustic ‘Just For You’ for the Guns similarity.
“Psycho Cafe” wasn’t the major hit it deserved to be, but even so, this excellent album demonstrates that not all bands that were part of L.A. glam metal in the late ’80s /early ’90s played party fluff.
This album never was remastered, but this Japanese reissue sound like it was. It blows out of the water Metal Mind Productions release from some years ago. It may be the new digital transfer technique – which augment the signal / Dynamic Range – and “Psycho Cafe” blast out of the speakers.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 – Attack Of Life
02 – Someone Just Like You
03 – Wrap My Wings
04 – Breaking Up A Heart Of Stone
05 – Shotgun Man
06 – Don’t Stop Now
07 – Love Injection
08 – Just For You
09 – Do What You’re Told
10 – Sweet Little Razor
Joe Lesté – lead vocals
Mark Knight – guitar
Kyle Stevens – guitar
Kyle Kyle – bass
Tigg Ketler – drums
BUY IT !