Release Year: 2014
- Boxes and Squares
- Roller Coaster
- Oh Heart
- The Brandy[‘s
- The Ass
- Rhythm of Life
- Eggs Over Easy
- Theme Parks
- Ridderton Love
- Instructions on Being
- Tarriona Ball – Vocals
- Christopher Menge – Guitar
- Joshua Johnson – Drums
- Norman Spence – Bass & Keys
- Merell Burkett – Keys
- Joe Johnson – Keys
- Anjelika Joseph/Nicole Spence – Background
Reviewed In OffBeat
Robert Fontenot (December 2014 Issue)
Tank and the Bangas are one of those groups that do a number of things well and a couple of things superbly, but not necessarily at the same time.
Their extended jazz/funk grooves serve as the setting for Tank’s Baduesque vocals and spoken-word dissections of what it’s like to be a liberated yet disconnected urban female, and in the cracks, if you can believe that they’ve left any, they explore the history of R&B from doo-wop to quiet storm.
All of which is impressive, but as you might imagine, they do tend to wander off in the middle of an idea, and the individual songs don’t quite come together to form an identifiable sonic fingerprint.
Still, the fact that they can nail down all the seemingly mismatched parts is enough for now, given their degree of difficulty. “Wal Mart” is the poetic standout; Tank may pull a stool up to her metaphor and milk it ’til it’s nearly dead, but she still reveals some telling parallels between capitalism and romance.
“Ripperton Love” manages to find a whole world inside a memory of listening to Minnie, and the Bangas tailor the atmosphere appropriately. Then there’s the real curveballs, like “Oh Heart,” a sugary slice of Broadway soul that nails the kind of boop-oop-ee-doop cute Diana Ross only used to be able to play at, “The Brady’s,” which melds reggae to a Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers sample, and “Rhythm of Life,” which eventually explodes into what can only be described as Michael Jackson fronting Nirvana.
They’re not as clever as they think they are, yet, but Tank and the Bangas are still plenty compelling, and that’s more important.
Focus may be the only thing keeping this quintet/collective from being national heroes, not just local attractions.