Iceland act Gang Bang are essentially the project of artist Bardi Johansson, who’s been coming and going from the music scene since 1996. Counting three album releases already in his cannon, his sophomore album in particular highlighted Johansson’s talents – his sense of the melancholy, mostly transmitted by the smooth hypnotical sound of his voice reminiscent of a haunting Belle and Sebastian.
Recently, Gang Bang has released an album which cover and songs could easily be part of the movie Donnie Darko’ soundtrack. ‘The Wolves Are Whispering’ features nine songs that move between melodic pop to atmospheric soundscapes, all infected with this intensity that grabs you. The whole thing is this mix of soothing synthesizers momentous guitars, with attention to small details a real feature of the record.
The quiet and low voice Bardi takes you to on a trip inside a rabbit hole through different emotions and genres. From the melancholic “Lonely Bird” to the classic pop ballad formula of “My Special One” the record flits in and out of moods, emotions and that melancholy. As it progresses , so it passes though more instrumental and atmospheric music, with the band able to give sensitive translations to the feelings conveyed. “We Will Never Get Along” is a magnificent closing with these aching strong beats along the soft vocal with outbursts in the middle to end of the song. “Out Of Horizon”, the first single, demonstrates the pop stylings produced by the band with the atmospheric vocals heart breaking – a collapse between Johansson’s both worlds.
At its best, The Wolves are Whispering draws together thrilling guitars and electronic beats, especially prevalent on the first half of the album, despite the fact that still there’s some heavy melancholy feeling behind it all. Even if Johansson’s vocal may sometimes ware, despite being able to convey the meaning and emotion in his lyrics, there’s enough sparkle in the music to make the album a satisfying listen.