There’s a dirty feel to the groove we first come in contact with in the song “Bang Bang” from McNally Waters that only gets stronger as we listen to the roughly three minute-long title track of the project’s new extended play, currently out everywhere provocative indie folk/rock is sold and streamed. It’s coupled with a crispness to the harmony between the vocal and the strings that is as conflictive as can be, but nestled amidst this ensuing sonic hurricane we find lyrical tenacity mostly unmatched in the underground this season. Simply put, McNally Waters aren’t pulling punches in “Bang Bang” – they’re taking a stand.
While there aren’t any big guitar solos or moments in which the acoustic trappings of traditional American folk music are met with an electrifying rock element per-say, there’s definitely a sense of eclecticism in this song that extends itself beyond what the parameters of either genre would normally allow for.
Despite McNally Waters’ clear appreciation for the conventions of artists who blazed the trail ahead of their arrival, they’re melding numerous aesthetics together here and utilizing rhythm and a relentlessly blunt lyrical approach as a means of tying everything together. Is it untried? Not necessarily, but it’s definitely working better for these guys than it has anyone else out of their scene lately.
“Bang Bang” isn’t the only single you’re going to hear in support of Black Lives Matter this October, nor should you take its narrative as a politicized jab at either side of the isle – it has been conceived from the same seed as many a Guthrie, Dylan and Young tune have, and if there’s anything that the past has taught us about its musical bloodline, it’s that regardless of what critics like myself make of its meaning today, it has the potential to impact tomorrow in a way none of us could have guessed.