Say Psych: Album Review: The Gluts – Bang!

Italians The Gluts last month released their latest LP, Bang!, and its taken me that long to find the words to do credit to such an amazing offering, which even by their high standards, is impeccable.

Released on Fuzz Club Records, it follows 2021’s Ungrateful Heart LP, a punk masterpiece that left them with big shoes to fill. Bang! is the fifth studio album from the Milan-based quartet who say “like the sound of a single gunshot, straight to the heart”, and so the record is balanced between punchy, fast-paced punk songs and noisy experimentalism, perfectly distilling the strength and energy of their notoriously wild, feedback-blasted live shows.

Opening with ‘Soybeans’, a fierce beat drives the track from the back and doesn’t let the intensity slip. For anyone unacquainted but curious, it’s the perfect introduction to the band and well placed to lead down the rabbit hole. Title track ‘Bang!’ has an infectious countenance that sets you dancing from the first note. It guarantees you can’t stop, and although arguably a bit tamer than their other tracks, it showcases how they can manipulate sound to spectacular effect. ‘Fight’ sets them back on familiar footing and is the type of track that grows on you with repeated listens, with a haunting bass line that interacts delicately with the guitar melody to entrance. ‘Self-Destruction’ is another captivator from the offset, one thing they have nailed in this album is the ability to enthral from early on and I can see this track becoming a fan favourite as it’s dangerously catchy. ‘Vampire, a Walk at Midnight’ has a filthy swagger and the dual vocal interplay is particularly bewitching.

About lead single ‘Cade Giù’ they explain ““Cade Giù (‘Falls Down’) is the first song we’ve ever written and recorded in Italian and speaks about the blurry reminiscences of the typical after party night during the tour, evoking one wild night spent with our friend and booking agent Gab.” It also encapsulates everything you can expect from a live performance, without the need to see it to feel it. ‘Sleep Demon’ and ‘Marble Cats’ make for a heady combination before ‘Isabella’ stomps into prominence. One thing they aren’t scared of is starting with a cacophony of noise, and I don’t know anyone who does it better. And keep an ear out for the nod to The Ramones, never a bad thing. Concluding ‘Born&Die’ is a rollercoaster; a wall of vocals erupts and then leads to a calm, almost peaceful guitar riff. It continues to twist and turn, keeping you locked in, a searing end to a stunning listen.

I fell in love with The Gluts some time ago, and there is always that apprehension when a band you love release a new album, will it continue your love affair or destroy it? With Bang! they have ensured their legacy and shown how they can still grow in a genre that isn’t easy to achieve such. What will they do next?!  

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