Although Bang Tango was often lumped in with the whole '80s glam metal movement (perhaps due to their pretty-boy looks and the fact that they hailed from Los Angeles, CA), the hard-rockin' quintet was one of the few L.A. glam groups to incorporate funk into its sound -- around the same time as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More made it acceptable to do so. Their lineup consisted of Joe Lest+¬ (vocals), Kyle Stevens (guitar), Mark Knight (guitar), Kyle Kyle (bass), and Tigg Ketler (drums), and gained the interest of Mechanic/MCA shortly after the quintet issued the in-concert recording Live Injection in 1987. Their major-label debut, Psycho Cafe, was issued in 1989, and despite MTV's [RoviLink="VW"]Headbanger's Ball program giving some air time to their single/video "Someone Like You," the album failed to break the band into the big time.
The group continued to issue albums during the early part of the '90s -- 1991's Dancin' on Coals, 1992's Ain't No Jive...Live!, and 1994's Love After Death -- but with the emergence of the Seattle movement, bands like Bang Tango became pass+¬ with most of the metal community. The band broke up shortly thereafter, with bassist Kyle joining former Faster Pussycat frontman Taime Downe's industrial project, the Newlydeads, while Lest+¬ did some time as a stand-in for L.A. Guns (Ketler and Knight also resurfaced in the group the Worry Beads). In 1998, Kyle and Lest+¬ resurrected the Bang Tango name for the 1998 release Live (on the Cleopatra label). A best-of compilation, Greatest Tricks, saw the light of day in 1999, as did United and Live the same year. In 2001, Lest+¬ formed a more modern-sounding alt-metal outfit, Beautiful Creatures, issuing a self-titled debut the same year on Warner Bros., and toured as part of Ozzfest. Mark Knight also formed a new band, Gravy. ~ Greg Prato
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