Female-fronted hard rock from Slovakia! Well, that sounds pretty cool…let’s check it out! Coming to fruition originally in 2013, from what I can find on the internet, The Gang formed with bassist Tom the Thunder, classically educated keyboardist Iggy the Reaper and heavyweight drummer Dr. Evil. Is that Michael Myers? In 2014, The Gang issued an EP titled Let It Rock before talented young vocalist Dory (whose mother was a schoolmate of Dr. Evil) stepped up to the mic in 2016. Also in 2016, the Slovak hard rock guitarist Vadim Busovsky, known from legendary band Dorian Gray, joined. This self-released album, simply called The Gang, became available in early December 2017.
The band saw success at a competition called Rock Maturity where due to their dynamic rocking live performance was awarded third place. The band also performed at the biggest national rock festival Topfest 2016. Claiming their style is a mixture of hard rock roots combined with modern sound and pure energy that together creates an explosive, intense and dynamic sound, The Gang is intriguing. They cite bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, AC/DC. However, they are also influenced by modern rock bands. Like for example The Pretty Reckless, The White Stripes, Rival Sons or Wolfmother.
THE GANG – The Gang (self-released December 1, 2017)
The Gang‘s debut album starts off in a big way with “Let It Rock”. It’s easy to hear the cited influences in their very 70s tinged sound. I also hear some Joan Jett and definitely Janis Joplin thrown into the mix as well. The low toned, gravelly, throaty vocals from Dory bring up the Joplin images instantly. The earthy tones of the track are only enhanced with the Hammond Organ sounding keyboards invoking the Deep Purple likeness.
The album has a lot to say for itself with hard rocking tracks that are right on point like the opener, “Get Out of My Life” and “I Want More”. In the back half of the release, “Real Self” has a bit of an 80s updated sound to it, I felt. A great groove that has an arena rock touch to it that excites the soul. And “Wild Hurricane” has a thumping groove and pumping energy. Fantastic sing-along chorus in this one that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser live.
Personally, I don’t gel well with slower fare and the album has its fair share of that. That’s not to say the songs are bad by any means, I just prefer the foot-stomping, head-bobbing high energy of fast-paced compositions. Each of these tracks, “You’re the One”, “Lost Friend”, and especially “Only the Devil Knows” serves to exhibit some great and different vocal ranges and stylings of Dory.
The choice cut for me is track #3, “Rock ‘n’ Rebels”. You can listen/watch via the video below. It just has a funky swagger that works so well with the textured layers of instrumentation. And a foot-stomping catchiness to it. This is sure to get featured on my podcast (CGCM Podcast) in the future.
Final Thoughts of THE GANG – The Gang
This independently released album took a little bit to find me being issued in early December. Well, let’s be honest, in the sea of digital album availability/access today, many larger name releases even pass me by. There is a lot of potential here and I was actually quite surprised at how much I enjoyed some of the tracks on The Gang‘s self-titled debut offering.
Dory has some wonderfully velvety tones on the slower fare and a gravelly, throaty low toned delivery on faster cuts. At times her voice has that “been up all night chain-smoking and mainlining Jack and Cokes” feel to it.
Although the band possesses a bit of a generic moniker and the album contains its fair share of mid-paced to slower fare, The Gang from Bratislava, Slovakia is a band to watch! I’m gonna require this album on vinyl…can you help me out with that Gang?
Find more of my album reviews here: Meister Music