Photo: Doug Schwarz
Oklahoma City punk-rock outfit The Boom Bang
is headed to the big glass house in the sky, exiting this world in a blaze of smoke bombs, cheap beer, broken glass and partial male nudity. Pizza cookers, firework vendors and local music fans alike mourn the loss of one of the greatest live bands the state ever has known.
The Boom Bang was born in 2008 when singer James Smith, guitarist Tommy McKenzie, bassist Weston Lorance and drummer Charles Whetstone decided to create the music the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would, if Raphael and company were strung out on hallucinogens and calzones.
The Boom Bang is preceded in death by dinosaurs, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Rocko’s Modern Life. It is survived by Shaquille O’Neal.
Inspired by Andrew W.K., Thee Oh Sees and the fever dreams of Scooby-Doo, the landlocked surf outfit became heroes of the scuzzy mole people who emerge from the Oklahoma soil each Friday night seeking a drink (or 19) and general devastation.
The Boom Bang’s live shows became something of a legend: Guitar amps have been obliterated, Black Cats have been set off, butt cracks have been revealed and bones have been broken. Once, a mosh pit lasted for three days before dissipating five miles south of Alva. If you haven’t received a scar or bruise from a Boom Bang show, you probably aren’t a true fan.
It is rumored that the four-piece has been kicked out of half the venues it has played.
With the desire for the party to spill between each gig, The Boom Bang recorded a string of albums, including the Bummer Camp
EP in 2010; its full-length debut, World War Fun,
in 2011 and a split 7-inch with fellow 405ers The Copperheads
that same year.
While The Boom Bang-era is coming to a close, its members live on.
Lorance reportedly is headed to California to work as a stunt double for Ryan Gosling.
McKenzie will split his time between his gigs in noise outfits Depth & Current and Gross Beast, and fighting werewolves with his bare hands at night.
Smith — when not creating cover art and tees for his favorite bands — can be found on the pair of roller skates he recently purchased.
And Whetstone will return to the woods from whence he came to design a line of sleeveless flannel shirts.
The musical embodiment of “Macho Man” Randy Savage will be remembered for suplexing its way into listeners’ hearts with a wry sense of humor, an appetite for destruction (and pepperoni) and a desire to leave everyone in the room happier exiting than they were entering.
Family, friends, fans and drifters are invited to attend a memorial service for The Boom Bang to be held at 8 p.m. Friday at Opolis in Norman, with a memorial service for each attendee’s liver and dignity planned for later that night.
In lieu of flowers, please fire a Roman candle into the sky with one arm and pour out a 40 with the other.
Hey! Read This:
• The Boom Bang interview
• The Boom Bang's World War Fun album review
• The Copperheads' Apocalyptic Behavior album review
• The Copperheads interview