BAI BANG – All Around The World

Bai Bang - All Around The WorldI wasn’t really sure whether I was going to review this album or not. I mean, I did review their last album, Livin’ My Dream (2012) and I totally slashed it (gave it 1/10). Quite frankly, I thought that it might would be a waste of time to even listen to it. But still, you never know and besides, I have a really weak spot for the kind of melodic hard rock, full of catchy choruses, harmonies and groove, that Bai Bang plays. But to give this CD a fair review, I need to listen to it with an open mind and forget everything that I wrote about its predecessor – which isn’t all that easy. You’ll recognise the Bai Bang sound immediately when the first song starts – and “Everybody Everywhere” sounds surprisingly good, catchy as can be and it made me think that maybe I was wrong about this lot, maybe their last album was just a stroke of a bad luck, a one-off that might be better off ignored and avoided. “Gonna Make It” keeps it up – a really good song, but with lyrics so embarrassing it’s actually hard to listen to with a straight face! “Crazy” then passes by unnoticed before the album’s true winner, “Bai Bang” comes along. A raunchy rocker, catchy as hell that will probably grow into a live killer. But the lyrics? Is this a tribute to themselves? Hmmm…

But just when I thought that the band had gone and made an album that would make me think again about them, everything goes back to normal – which is downhill. Ok, “What About Now” is a decent power ballad, but that’s it. “Raise Your Hands” (original title, boys) is just too bad. And the lyrics then? “Rockin’ in the free world”?? Nononono!! Come on, already! And “Summertime”? “Ice cold beer and a clear blue sky…”?? Jesus, I can already imagine the cliché video for this one. On “Get It On” they try to mix their 80’s hard rock with some Nickelback influences. Nice try, but no cigar. It’s a good move, had the song been at least decent – but it isn’t. Besides, singer Diddi Kastenholt’s voice is so off-key here that it hurts.

To sum this up, the album holds some good songs, however the guys are in some desperate need of guidance when it comes to writing lyrics because some of them are below all criticism. Also, the performances are sometimes really bad, at times they sound like a bunch of beginners – not  guys who have been playing for over 30 years. To make matters worse, the production is extremely lame. Did they record this with a tape recorder in someone’s living room? Because this sounds like a cellar demo, exactly the same problem their last album had. I have a feeling that Bai Bang could actually make a really good album if these things were corrected, but until then, this album is a lot better than their last – or less worse, if you’d like – but it’s not actually good. There still is a long way to go for that to happen.

Jon Wilmenius (4/10)

1. Everybody Everywhere
2. Gonna Make It
3. Crazy
4. Bai Bang
5. How About Now
6. Raise Your Hands Now
7. Summertime
8. Now You’re Gone
9. All Around the World
10. Get It On

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