Rhythm & Views

Bang Camaro

Remember how Slash's guitar playing on "Sweet Child o' Mine" sounded as if it had sprung, fully formed, from our collective rock consciousness to seem both comfortingly familiar and shockingly new? So, too, does the debut album by the Boston-area metal collective Bang Camaro.

The genius of this CD--performed by a core of bassist, drummer and three guitarists, with the addition of anywhere from 10 to 15 vocalists at a time--is how it calls upon all the old tropes, formulae and clichés of classic rock while making it sound as if we're hearing them for the first time. It's not a good joke like Spinal Tap; it's not satire, nor is it a blind, bland tribute. It's an excuse for more guitar solos.

Songs such as "Push Push (Lady Lightning)," "Swallow the Razor," "Pleasure (Pleasure)," "Out on the Streets" and "Rock of Mages" bring to mind Def Leppard, Deep Purple and AC/DC. Naturally, two of the above tunes already have appeared in the video games Guitar Hero II and Rock Band.

There's a power ballad called "The Ballad," which is brilliant enough. But the band's simple genius is revealed in the bitchin' final track, titled "Bang Camaro," in which the repeated title serves as the only lyrics.

This album makes me feel as if I were a 14-year-old again--one too young and innocent yet to go out on Saturday night, but who instead visited a friend's house to play vinyl records by Blue Oyster Cult and Tommy Bolin. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

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