TANG “Dynamite Drug Diamond” Album Review

Recently, I have become a huge fan of TANG. No, I’m not talking about the delicious, space-age orange flavored drink, but rather the deliciously French, post-hardcore band, turning heads with their latest audio masterpiece, Dynamite Drug Diamond. Although they’ve been together for nearly 16 years and have received critical acclaim among French media, TANG is now on a mission to introduce their compellingly aggressive lyrics and instrumentals to the world abroad. Dynamite Drug Diamond is like generic post-hardcore’s third cousin twice removed, with greater talent and technique that offers a truly indulgent listening experience.

The album kicks things off with “Highway Encounter,” and it pretty much smacks you in the face with its intensity and gritty vocals reminiscent of a combination between Tim Armstrong and Tim McIlrath. “Run and Run and Die” takes the intensity up to another level completely, and the chaotic drumming adds superbly to the effect. However, the heaviness of the song subsides as TANG places a spoken monologue in the middle for a theatrical flair. Lyrics like, “Shining on through the years, forever strong.  Let me explain…What do I feel…Tell me my name…,” sound more like words from a dramatic poetry reading you might expect to hear at some underground beatnik club, rather than a post-hardcore album.

The screeching vocals and pulsating drum beats on “Paint It Black” and “In Loving Memories” are particularly effective and leave you craving for more. “Hellissandur” was by far my favorite track off Dynamite Drug Diamond. After listening to the intro alone, I knew it was going to be an epic song. Blasting listeners with a sudden melodic and rhythmic journey that’s just plain ear candy, “Hellissandur” utilizes a number of unexpected techniques, such as the inclusion of what sounds like a brass section, to push it over the top. Reverb-laden “Life of Shooting Stars” is thought provoking and angsty, exposing the darker, more cerebral side of TANG. Dynamite Drug Diamond culminates with “Roses out of Chaos”, whose title may actually be a fitting description for the album as a whole. The song is as moody, aggressively in-your-face, and spot-on vocally and instrumentally as the rest of the tracks, ending the album on a spectacular high note.

Maybe they’re a little too punk for post-hardcore, yet too alternative and melodic to be truly hardcore punkers, but whatever they are, it’s absolutely brilliant! TANG’s indescribably unique, genre-defying sound is something to be admired in this day and age of seemingly endless cookie-cutter, post-hardcore wannabes. Their poetic, more-than-just-screechy-rock-music style displayed on Dynamite Drug Diamond bends beauty and aggression, taking listeners on a musical roller coaster of angst and passion. Check out these French dynamos and grab a copy of Dynamite Drug Diamond out now; you won’t be disappointed.

-Lauren L.



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