"Bang Bang" by MONOPHONICS

Reimagining a classic
Recording a cover of another artist's song is a risky endeavor. You will likely either be crucified for destroying the sanctity of the original artist's work or be overlooked because your version is a simple imitation of someone else's effort and inspiration. There are rare occasions, however, where you will be praised for revitalizing and reincarnating the original song into a new, beautiful life force. San Francisco's psychedelic soul sextet Monophonics has done just that with their cover of Sonny & Cher's 1966 hit "Bang Bang." The original track, written by Sonny and performed by Cher, is a delicate, emotive tale of recollection and betrayal. Monophonics turn the track on its head, straying from the original formula of low, slow vocals and sparing plucks of acoustic guitar, and turning it into an uptempo, energetic, full-band affair.
The tone of this cover is somewhat reminiscent of the classic "I Will Survive," but with far more aggression, electric guitar, and funk-inspired horns. Lead singer Kelly Finnigan is a master of inflection; his voice captures the mixed bag of emotions that comes with recalling long-ago treachery, weaving a tapestry of sadness, anger, regret, and desperation. While the majority of the song is a soulful blend of rock and jazz, it is bookended by periods of mysterious, cinematic Western-inspired music, perhaps signaling that "This town ain't big enough for the both of us." Monophonics have put their own mark on Sonny & Cher's timeless work, making the oft-covered track relevant again and bringing to light the notion that art is about one's interpretation of life experiences and there are limitless ways to interpret the same experience.