Totally have appreciated the seething scorn heaped upon me every time I mention my love for the first couple of BANGLES releases. It certainly makes it all worth it, doesn't it? Well in high school I got really into that first EP of theirs on IRS (recorded when they were still called THE BANGS), and I still believe every track on it to be fantastic 60s fuzz/jangle with harmonies to die for, including their outstanding cover of New Zealand 60s punkers THE LA-DE-DAS ("How Is The Air Up There").
When their real first album came out, of course it was a total slide down the dumper, and after that into the realm of the unmentionable. I've told this story before on other blogs, but I've got a pal who claims he saw the very early Bangs totally blow away BLACK FLAG and RED CROSS at the Cathay De Grande in LA around 1981; four mildly scared, miniskirted young women who decided to play their bouncy 60s pop at lightning speed to the assembled meathead multitude, and won at least one new fan in the process.
So I got to college and had this clued-in next door neighboor in the dorms, and he had that first BANGS single, the one I'd never heard. Totally dug it, and still do. "Getting Out Of Hand / Call On Me", from 1981 on Downkiddie Records, apparently got a smidgen of local airplay, but was really only one of dozens of cool Los Angeles records coming out at the time. Because of their sixties leanings, these ladies got lumped in the with "paisley underground" of the Three O'Clock, Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade et al. I guess that's fair, but they exited the paisley ghetto just about as fast as they could, and their bank accounts are undoubtedly still thanking them. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do - c'mon, it's OK to fess up.
Play The Bangs, "Getting Out of Hand"
Download THE BANGS - "Getting Out of Hand" (Side A)
Download THE BANGS - "Call On Me" (Side B)
As a bonus, I'm also including a very early send-up The Bangs did of "Getting Out of Hand" for the Los Angeles art/punk magazine NO MAG in 1981. The magazine was great and incredibly un-PC; each issue filled in every random spot in the layout with scary pictures of mentally retarded individuals. It was comped on the first "Radio Tokyo Tapes" LP the next year. Again, thanks to Leah for sending this track along to us here at the 'Twang.
Download THE BANGS - "No Mag Commercial"