Small Pleasures is the first proper full-length from Cornwall, England trio Bangers. To shortcut straight to the point, it’s fitting that this record is released in the US on Kiss of Death, as it fits in well with artists such as New Bruises and Mayflower. They bring straight forward, mid-tempo punk to the forefront, with a focus on melodic gang choruses, slightly gruff vocals, and a lyrical approach that eschews consumerism in favor of celebrating positive experiences.
Behind many of the songs are personal reflections with larger social connotations. “The Love Nest” starts out with “Remember the first house/ we both lived in/ wasn’t a home to anyone.” It reflects on a personal relationship but, at the same time, taking a more universal angle that appeals to learning experiences over personal matters. A similar approach is utilized throughout, exemplifying the old “show don’t tell” writing adage. While a few of the choruses on the record are rather direct, the general scope of the songwriting is more contemplative than blunt. The most direct lines tend to come in the form of a group chorus, emphasizing the point and allowing that cathartic, fist-in-the-air shout along. In the case of “The Love Nest,” that refrain is “We couldn’t wait to get out!” Occasionally, as in “Irritants,” the songs rely a little too much on the lyrics—even when they don’t flow nearly as well as the music. Still, the power of the songs remains their ability to follow primarily mid-tempo structures with some big pick-ups to keep the energy flowing. “Church Street in Ruins” being one of the standouts.
Vocalist Roo Pescod has a strong, determined voice that carries the melodies and has enough range to get the pop melodies out, but it retains a rough, everyman feel. At times he sounds reminiscent of The Dauntless Elite, but the lyrical delivery is more direct and single lead direct than that band. He handles most all of the vocal duties on the record, other than the choruses.