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Bingo Boys - Signal (Radio Cake Records)

7 February 2024

Never judge a book by its cover, they say. And more specifically, never judge a band by their name. I fall for it every time, I guess it’s human nature. But any pre-conceptions I may have formed that a band calling themselves Bingo Boys would be some sort of jaunty, bluegrass or country-rock outfit were shattered into a million pieces when the previous single, “Oh Yeah”, knocked me flying. This is music that you have to be prepared for.

So, when “Signal” came screaming out of my speakers, at least I knew what I was in for – certainly not line dancing. (Although line-dancing to Bingo Boys music would certainly burn a few calories.)

It is as raw as its predecessor but swaps some of that unrelenting , uncompromising energy for a more riff-orientated, more musically dynamic offering. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still the sonic equivalent of having a bus load of punks crash through the front window of a music store, but it deftly shows that there is some genuine talent at work amongst the angst, energy, abrasiveness, and mania.

To me, this song echoes with the true spirit of what punk started life as – a mutant rock and roll scene coalescing around certain clubs on the Lower East Side and, an ocean away, furious, disenfranchised, art-statement pop crawling through London’s back streets. “Signal,” in particular, and Bingo Boys, in general, have revived the spirit of punk at a time when the name has become a throwaway byword for people wanting to sound cool and edgy.

If you are not old enough to remember the early days of punk, and there are few of us left now who fought in the punk wars, then at least you have Bingo Boys. Hey, maybe it’s time to do it all over again. Man, the music scene won’t know what’s hit it! Who’s in?