Review : Bang Bang Romeo – Shame on You E.P

A cinematic soundscape that wraps itself in the worlds of Power-Pop, Blues, and Beat Music– Bang Bang Romeo’s new EP cements the trio as one of the UK’s most intriguing accelerating artists.

You don’t really get vocalists like Anastasia Walker all too often, and so when Bang Bang Romeo’s newest offering was announced, the hope was that we would all be treated…and we have been! Each track offers something different, yet maintains a direction almost as if we are being taken on our own private tour of the BBR world. Whether it be ‘Shame on You’s infectious (and all-to-easy to belt out) chorus; the rising soaring ballad that is ‘Adore Me’; or whether it be the picturesque, “Bond-Theme” crescendo that is EP closer ‘Chemical’, we have much to be excited about with a debut album round the corner.

Shame on You’ (the single) has been out for a few months now, and having given Josh Bell’s RGM review of the single a read, I have to agree with him. Far too often are such powerful voices lost amongst the waves of lukewarm song-writing, lost to the currents of what is “marketable” and “profitable”. Bang Bang Romeo have gone “sod this” and found a sound that brings Walker’s voice to the pedestal, but a pedestal that she shares with the music that is created around her. They will become profitable and successful and, most likely, on main stages of festivals all of next summer because they are doing something that can captivate, not because they are bowing down to what’s already “in”. This is by no means a one-woman effort though, and that is the clincher. This is a band utilising the talents at their disposal in a way that doesn’t seem forced or fabricated. BBR don’t use Anastasia Walker’s immense vocal talent for the sake of it – it is used as a powerful layer to a lattice of exciting instrumentals and high-level production.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the work of Richard Gartland (Drums) and Ross Cameron (Guitar). In fact, let’s take a moment to delve into the instrumental side of Bang Bang Romeo’s EP, because there’s a lot going on here that’s worth taking note of. The way their song-writing has this ability to captivate you, and to transport you into a world of euphoric soundtracks to movies you wish you’d seen.

I’ve seen reviews of BBR before where their sound is likened to the tumultuous ending of a Tarrantino film, and that’s fairly spot on. It has the drama, the suspense, the vocal immensity, crashing drums, exquisite and detailed use of strings and brass and electronic samples, all coming together to make the unmistakable ‘Bang Bang Romeo’ sound.

This sound is perfectly concluded by EP closer ‘Chemical’. As it swells into this oh-so-delicate beast of a track, so effortlessly smooth as it punches you hard in the gut, you have to just stand back and applaud. This one song stands above all the rest on an EP that is already impressive throughout. Its theatricality, nuanced breaks and pauses, and soaring backing vocals, all swallowed by the whirlwind of emotion expressed in a lesson of total vocal control. And with the delicate brush stroke across a piano, it fades back into nothingness. Not bad Bang Bang Romeo – not bad at all.