Ernest Jennings Record Co.
Power pop is alive and well in Athens, Georgia. The college town has been launching great, melodic rock bands since the B-52’s, R.E.M. and Pylon set the stage in the 80s. The town has continued to nurture and launch bands as diverse as Elf Power, Drive-By Truckers, Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control. Blunt Bangs joins that proud legacy with their debut release, Proper Smoker.
The guys in Blunt Bangs have spent time in the trenches with other bands. Singer/guitarist Reggie Youngblood toured the world with Black Kids. Christian “Smokey” DeRoeck who shares vocal and guitar duties previously spent time in the Woods. Drummer, Cash Carter (Tracy Shedd) is a manager at the Kindercore Vinyl record pressing plant. Over the lock-down year of 2020, Blunt Bangs woodshedded their tunes in the Kindercore warehouse and came out with their tunes wound tight and ready to burst.
“She’s Gone” kicks off the album with a wailing guitar lead and propulsive beat. The breakup song had the telling admission, “she did to me, what I did to her. You can’t tell me anything about that girl.” The band knows how to rock hard and fast without compromising the melody. It also helps that they have a way with words. “Antiquated Dewey Decimal Man, you’re a paperweight, you’re an also ran” is just one of the burns doled out on “Tom Ford.”
If you detect bits of Mathew Sweet, the Replacements or Teenage Fanclub in Blunt Bangs sound, that’s not a bad thing. They readily admit that they play power pop. They’re not reinventing the wheel. It’s only rock and roll.