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Two to Tango?

psychocafe.jpgNow, more on that great Cincinnati metal show I wrote about yesterday.

Joe Leste of Bang Tango fame will also perform with his side project Cock Fight. More information at

Bang Tango formed in Los Angeles in 1987 and was nearly immediately signed to MCA records. Since that time, the band has released albums on the Music for Nations, Shrapnel, and Perris Records labels. Bang Tango's first album Psycho Cafe wasn't huge so they tried again with Dancin' on Coals which was released in 1991. Unfortunately, Bang Tango never amassed huge mainstream success and they were dropped from MCA after Dancin' on Coals.

Vocalist Joe Leste has remained the constant in Bang Tango, despite numerous splits and member changes.

The current incarnation of Bang Tango includes Leste, guitarist Michael Thomas, bassist Lance Eric and drummer Timmy Russell. Recently, Bang Tango released From the Hip. I don't have this album yet, but the tracks are pretty good. You can hear a few samples at I really like the guitar sound these guys have going. It's strong and rich, but doesn't overpower the rest of the band.

I'm quite interested in seeing Bang Tango at Rocklahoma. I hear the boys put on a great show, and I'm ready for some excitement!

Side Note: At the turn of the new millennium, Leste formed Beautiful Creatures with guitarists DJ Ashba and Anthony Focx, bassist Kenny Kweens and drummer Glen Sobel. This band had some touring success with KISS and Ozzfest but was quickly dropped from their deal with Warner Brothers. After the label dropped Beautiful Creatures, several members left the band, including DJ Ashba who now collaborates with Nikki Sixx. Ashba was replaced by Alex Grossi (!), who also played with Bang Tango for a short time. Anthony Focx also did a stint with Bang Tango. As noted Timmy Russell is the current drummer for both Bang Tango and Beautiful Creatures.

Reader Comments (6)

I liked Psycho Cafe. Unlike a lot of what came out of that scene in the late 80s, it had a little more punch which I think was derived from the sense of funk that they injected into their music. Dancin' on Coals seemed to lose that energy, so the band became more typical and I lost interest. Isn't the lineup for that Rocklahoma thing just Joe Leste and some other guys who weren't in the band when they were good? It always seems to me that it's a bit disingenuous to use the old band name in these cases. They advertise themselves to be Bang Tango, but can Joe Leste alone really give you that? If so, it really argues against them being a good band in the first place, because the members were largely replaceable. That means they really didn't have much chemistry as a band. I don't think that was the case with Bang Tango, so I really think Joe Leste should choose a new name. It'd be better for fans and it would be better for him, because it would get him focused on the present instead of the past. Nostalgia isn't a good reason to keep going.
April 29, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbobvinyl
I agree with you Bob. Joe Leste really shouldn't be using the name Bang Tango.

I also really like "Psycho Cafe"! "Dancin' On Coals" was not as good, but, I still like it!
Bang Tango Rocks! Nice blog Allyson!
April 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
I was very upset at missing the Bang Tango, House of Lords show that was at Rhino's earlier this year. Those idiots at that place do not know how to promote a show. They have sense upgraded their website, and that is a plus. I am glad that I will get a change to see Joe's new project, Cock Fight. Can't Wait!
April 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHard Rock HIdeout
I liked Psycho Cafe and Dancin' on coals a lot. I think Dancin on coals was a little less heavy, but I liked the groove they added to it. I remember wearing out my cassette of it back in the early 90's. I think they came into their own a little more with that album. I bought "From the hip" and while decent, it's just more Bang Tango in name that it is in sound or spirit. It actually sounds more like other bands at times than it does like earlier Bang Tango.
April 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMetal Mark
Thanks for this. I definitely dig the new song on their MySpace page. Was also a HUGE fan of the first Beautiful Creatures record, with the original DJ Ashba configuration. This is an AWESOME record that you must own if you don't already.
May 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterVince Neilstein
The true star of Bang Tango was Kyle Kyle. Joe keeps on keeps on as the only member of Bang Tango, like dragging the name through the mud, yeah. Well, I guess it's a paycheck.
August 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternobody

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