Photo: Chris Cassidy
Good music, no matter what genre, endures all fads. It doesn’t have a shelf life. BANTAM doesn’t make music that’ll sound good this year but fade out after some electro-synth-garage-nu-pop-Baroque-chamber-core quartet explodes onto the scene. Good music has to have groove; it needs layers, texture, and visceral energy. And you have to know how to bring it alive when it comes time to get onstage. BANTAM’s singer/guitarist GINA VOLPE knows this. She had plenty of time to practice with her other band, the seminal NYC punk rock band the LUNACHICKS. Now she takes a new turn and brings it up a few notches with her NYC power trio BANTAM. Making heavy rock n roll that you’ll keep coming back to, after all the glitter and grime wears off of the other stuff.
Bantam’s second release, “Suicide Tourist” follows up their self titled debut release from 2002 and is further proof of the bands growth since forming in 2001. 13 songs that span a wide range of raw emotion and blunt aggression, Gina is the DaVinci of heavy songwriting. Songwriting that feels like it’s been revived from a lost art in the land of loud rock n roll. “... Marrying brute force with bewitching melodies, the songs drop like an anvil-a sexy anvil…”- Village Voice.
On “Suicide Tourist” you are lured down a dark, winding corridor with melodic nuances that snag you along the way. BANTAM’s other key ingredients are made up of drummer Pete hitting the drums like they owe him money (which he always gets) and bassist Doug whose angelic vocals contrasted with his deep booming bass adds depth and dissonance like a good kick in the gut .
People routinely flock to BANTAM shows, pack clubs wall-to-wall, and bang their heads in unison to monolithic tunes. BANTAM’s rock is self-sustaining. “I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I probably look like a jerk but if I’m moved by the music then others will be as well”, says Gina. Sharing the stage with High On Fire, Eagles of Death Metal, Nashville Pussy, Tribe 8, and The Butchies, Bantam has been busy spreading their gospel live while receiving admirable (and repeated) praise from the Village Voice, Time Out NY, NYPress, & Venus to name a few.
With songs that are equal parts bruising and blushing, BANTAM is out to light a flame under the ass of rock-n-roll. More albums. More shows. More sore necks, broken strings, crumbling drum kits, frenetic fans. MORE ROCK. It has to happen. It just does.