EP Review: The Loud Bangs – Why Things Fray

Regular readers of the blog will know how much I’m into The Loud Bangs. Since I discovered the Los Angeles, USA-based shoegaze band last year, I’ve been hungrily devouring their music. Fortunately for me, they are incredibly prolific, releasing EP after EP. Surely there’s a point where they start to run out of juice – could that moment be their latest, Why Things Fray?

By Graeme Smith

Each EP The Loud Bangs release focus on a single topic, exploring it over five tracks. They’ve now released eight of these over the past sixteen months, and the topic of Why Things Fray is about loving at a distance, and the strain that brings on a relationship that’s already fizzling out.

The EP opens in raw, lo-fi fashion with Analog Test. The haze is turned up to eleven with fuzzy guitar, long, lingering notes and a sense of building dread. As always with The Loud Bangs, the vocals are barely there, but their emotion shines through with chanting repetition.

The Penelope Cannon gives us lowdown grunge rock. It bristles with restrained violence and an anger that feels ready to ignite at any moment. Circus Mirror is bass led, with a slow deliberate groove while Unpleasantly Tense takes the tension that’s been building in the EP to its natural breaking point through an understated acoustic arrangement and deep breathing. Ex Doll then picks up the pieces with a vibrant, maximalist and, dare I say, joyful moment of relief.

I suppose the only criticism that can be levelled at The Loud Bangs is the consistency of their sound across their eight EPs, but personally I think if you’ve found your niche there’s little reason to leave it, especially when the sound is as unique as theirs. The consistency itself tells a story too, allowing you to fully immerse and get lost in their records, and the mood and story of each new EP keeps things interesting. I still remain excited about what’s to come from them.

The Loud Bangs are Alice Street on guitar and vocals, Daisy Gutierrez on guitar, vocals and keyboard, Hannah Remley on bass, and Marcus Nemuro on drums. Why Things Fray is produced by Darren Callahan. You can give it a listen below.