Bag of Faces has a story that isn’t as unfamiliar as it was ten to fifteen years ago. The band is made up of two members who apparently go by The Professor and Pumpy. Even though the band live in the same state they are still about 200 miles apart. They record in separate places and work remotely to complete their album New Kings In Town.
I can’t say I found this album particularly challenging; in fact the band plays pretty straightforward no frills rock. It was familiar sounding rock that I have heard for multiple decades. Take for instance the opener “We're All In This Together” which has a popular ’90s alternative vibe. Compare that to “Had Enough” which has a clear ’80s metal vibe. The lyrics on “Had Enough” reflect even more of an ’80s feel. He sings, “She sees me never ever makin’ the grade / Says it’s no wonder that I never get laid / Says I sit and think of all the things I can do /She sees no money - Says I don’t have a clue.” The difference is obvious and apparent as they fuel the tropes of whichever decade they chose to,
The disparity while often fun for the band can be a little confusing for the listeners as to what type of band they are or trying to be. Well if you had to twist my arm they pretty much sound like a band that could have come out in the early ’90s before Nirvana really hit. Bag of Faces might not be the most original sounding band that I have heard recently but the three songs were solid and the style felt largely nostalgic to me. I could picture myself at a junior high dance on“You Say You’re Gone” and I thought “Cat Gang” sounded similar to ’80s icons’ Faith No More.
The other thing about the band is they go from silly to emotionally heavy lyrics. It’s makes for a jagged flow if you listen to it sequentially. Take for instance the lyrics on “You Say You’re Gone.” He sings, “You say you're gone...Not comin' home / And I'm here in this emptiness...all alone” which are very deep, emotional lyrics. On the very next song he sings, “It’s a cat thug life, but it’s all I know / Through and through...from head to toe / Keep your little kitties safe...how it’s supposed to be ‘Cause you sure as hell don’t want ‘em to end up like me!”
By the end of the album I had an easier time appreciating the songs when looking at them individually rather than a cohesive collection. It wasn’t like the band was attempting hip-hop or anything but some of the themes felt pretty scattered.
I enjoyed the majority of the songs but the ones that stuck out to me most were “The New King's In Town,” “We're All In This Together” and “Inside” although this certainly comes down to personal taste.
In all honesty I can’t see too many teenagers and people in their early 20’s getting too excited about this release on first listen. Maybe I’m wrong but the kids seem to be into different things these days. I would surmise that I’m somewhere around the same age group as Bag of Faces and I think that people above 30 or 35 will instantly relate to some of these songs. I know I did.
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