Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Night Special: Bang Tango, "Wrap My Wings"

I’m working on a couple of ideas to try to breathe a little life back into this site. I started with the Sunday Sabbath feature, and now a series I call Saturday Night Special.

If you’ve been coming to the site for a little while, you’re probably familiar with the Saturday Shuffle that I used to do. That kind of ran its course, and though it got good traffic, was a pain to put together with my work and family schedules. So instead, I’m going to try a one-song approach, where I focus on a tune that I heard at some point in the week that maybe I haven’t heard for a while or that just struck me in some different way. We’ll kick things off with my favorite song from an ‘80s band that I consider underrated.

Bang Tango, like a few other good hard rock bands from their era, was at least partially a victim of being signed by MCA records, which didn’t seem to know what to do with them. Their outstanding 1989 debut Psycho Café should have launched the band to stardom. It was a great album at the right time. Instead they had a minor hit with “Someone Like You” and faded into obscurity.

Their second album, Dancin’ on Coals, didn’t get much attention, and their third record in 1994 didn’t even get a U.S. release. The band has reformed in various incarnations for a few albums over the years, but haven’t been able to recapture the magic of Psycho Café.

Among the great songs on that album, “Wrap My Wings” has always been one of my favorites. There’s just an aura of cool that rolls off this song that starts with that blues rock strut in the guitar riff. Then things quiet down a little and get dark as vocalist Joe Leste delivers a vocal with some interesting imagery before exploding into screams of “I'M BACK” that lead into a fantastic chorus.

While listening to that chorus, I’ve always imagined a tarnished angel in a leather jacket wrapping black feathered wings around a loved one. There’s probably a story in that somewhere, and whether it was intended or not, it’s my internal video.

“Wrap My Wings” stands, to me, as the epitome of a tough, cool hard rock song. It just oozes leather, confidence and attitude to me, and I never get tired of hearing it. The same could be said of most of Psycho Café. It’s an album that’s never gotten the respect that it deserved.

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