Das Psycho Rangers' blend of hard rock and dance-oriented pop stirred things up in New York recently when the English band performed several gigs in an attempt to generate record label interest. The group's trying to impress L.A., and while its show at FM Station on Wednesday hinted at the reasons for the excitement, the band isn't as big as its buzz.
The key to the quintet is its punchy, freewheeling feel and the light sarcasm of its lyrics. Lines like "Viva la dudes" and "the beat's got rhythm / and the rhythm's got soul" poke mild fun at rock 'n' roll cliches. The music carries on in the same vein. The neo-metal guitar trappings and the danceable beat align themselves with neither the disco nor the arena, but the irony of the combination could make the group fit in both areas.
Diminutive vocalist Be Dekard exuded a larger-than-life quality as he bopped to the beat, and his strong, versatile tenor also belied his small stature. During the ballad "The World Will Turn," he let his voice do the strutting with a smoky passion.
For all its positive attributes, however, the Rangers have yet to truly blend all the elements into one smooth entity. The Cult-meets-U2-and-hits-the-dance-floor concept occasionally clashed instead of merged, but if Das Psycho Rangers can tie up the loose ends, it could create its own outstanding niche.