Tank and the Bangas: Friend Goals EP (Verve Forecast) - review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, January 28th, 2021  

Tank and the Bangas

Friend Goals EP

Verve Forecast

Jan 07, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Led by the ebullient and expressive Tarriona “Tank” Ball, New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas captured the hearts of many a genre-bending fan after an explosive appearance (and victory) on NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2017. In keeping with its initial breakout, the band has continued to blend spoken word, hip-hop, and soul styles since spreading its proverbial wings beyond the desk.

While not exactly a worthy successor to the jazzy complexity of 2019’s Green Balloon, their newest effort, Friend Goals EP, stays the course and invites a diverse cast of characters—PJ Morton, CHIKA, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, and Pell among them—along for the soulful ride. 

Over the course of 22 bumping minutes, the band tackles themes of privileged social media vanity (“Mr. Insta”), performative consumerism (“Fluff”), and, hilariously, the perils of passing through airport security (“TSA”), among others. The record’s third song, in particular, oozes cheeky confidence that culminates in its absurdly unswerving hook (“TSA keeps taking my shit”). It’s this brutal honesty and candor that makes Ball’s lyrics stand out from their associated musical forms. 

As a whole, Friend Goals EP is a wordy, direct collection of anecdotal tunes that is fast-paced and, at the best of times, familiarly endearing. Though slightly contrived on the instrumental side of things, Ball’s soulful lyrical prose is refreshing and enjoyable even after a few listens. (www.tankandthebangas.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 4/10


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