The Bangkok Five – Who’s Gonna Take Us Alive (CD)

“Damaged Goods” seems to be as good of a starting point for The Bangkok Five as anything else on their “Who’s Gonna Take Us Alive”. The track is a smart brand of indie rock that ties together dominant styles, whether it be the angular rock of Franz Ferdinand or sexy vocals of The Killers into one hard-hitting and fun type of track. This high-energy sound is not something that The Bangkok Five abandon easily during “Who’s Gonna Take Us Alive”, as the radio-friendly title track should show to anyone who is listening in. The breakdown, which mixes Frost’s emotive vocals with a guitar line thrown down by Holcomb Ks that would make a hair band blast, shows that the band is ready to play on all tracks of this album.

Where a song like “Karmakazi” seems to be a little bit off from the style of music that The Bangkok Five are already known for, what really makes individuals focus in on the track is a smart set of arrangements that will get under one’s skin soon after listening into the disc. The band goes back to the straight-forward rock sound of previous tracks during their “Starting Me Up Again”. It is not as if The Bangkok Five intend to make their entire disc a set of radio hits, but the sexy style of music that issues forth is really amenable to assumption by radio and video stations alike. What style of music does The Bangkok Five even play? At some sense, it is rock, but during tracks like “Spread Eagle”, there is enough in the way of indie influence to keep the band’s cred meter full.

“Tiara” is the only track that is on “Who’s Gonna Take Us Alive” that sounds influenced to a major degree by another band. The track seems to be an extension of the musical styles that were dominated on Weezer’s “Green Album”, even if Frost’s vocal style is a sea change from anything that Rivers could come up with. This is one of the most hard-hitting debut discs to come out in this new millennium, and the fact that each song on “Who’s Gonna Take Us Alive?” is something that individuals will be singing for long after the disc ends means that The Bangkok Five will be an act that will be in the common purview for a long period of time. Pick this up before the band breaks it big.

Top Tracks: Damaged Goods, Karmakazi

Rating: 7.5/10

The Bangkok Five – Who’s Gonna Take Us Alive / 2006 Universal / 12 Tracks / http://www.thebangkokfive.com / Mhttp://www.universal.com / Reviewed 20 March 2006

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