Bai Bang
Livin' My Dream

01 - We're United
02 - Livin' My Dream
03 - Come on
04 - Rock on
05 - Stay
06 - Gonna Have it All
07 - Tonight
08 - Rock it
09 - Die for You
10 - Put on Her Dress

Diddi Kastenholt : Vocals
Pelle Eliaz : Guitars
Joacim Sandin : Bass
Johnny Benson : Drums

Enemy Lines (1989)
Cop To Con (1992)
Riding High (1996)
Attitude (2001)
Best Of Bai Bang (2006)
Are You Ready (2009)


recorded in Sunshine Explosion studios in Helsingborg, Sweden
Produced by Pontus Assarsson
Mastered by Martin Kronlund
Drums were recorded by Jens Lundgren at Titan Studios Sweden

Released 22/7-2011
Reviewed 18/7-2011


Bai Bang was a Swedish-Vietnamese collaboration in creating a paper mill at the village of Bai Bang. It was started as a an aid for the Vietnamese and was budgeted to 770 million Swedish kronor but ended up costing 2,8 billion kronor which makes it Sweden’s biggest aid project ever. It was a project going from 1963 and Swedish involvement ended in 1995 and it was only in 1996 that the mill reached full capacity but it is now one of the biggest in Vietnam producing about 40% of the nation’s writing paper and also a substantial percentage of toilet tissue and similar. It has also been criticised for working conditions which after pressure from Sweden improved in the mill, and in the end it has proven beneficial for the region growing the village into a town of about 25’000 inhabitants and also making it a fairly rich place in a region that is rather poor. The mill itself employs over 2000 people.

Bai Bang is also a Swedish rock band from the southern parts of the nation, a band playing melodic glammy pop-rock music, sometimes it is referred to as glam rock or sleaze rock depending on who you ask. The album called Livin’ My Dream that was the one I was supposed to review before I accidentally ended up writing about some Swedish aid project to a poor country is the band’s seventh studio album and the second one that I will have the privilege to review. I got to know them from their latest studio album called Are You Ready? the answer is no, never. It sort of was what the genre is supposed to be but never is, so it wasn’t completely without expectations, or hope, that I started looking at this album.

Musically it is not that different from what I heard on the previous album, it is slightly cleaner in sound without loosing that slightly unpolished rock edge. The songs are with catchy choruses and with lots of melodies, it is as it was but slightly faster as well. In the end though i would say that there are quite small changes from the previous album. There are ten songs on the album and the time it will take for me to listen through the album once is about 35 minutes which on vietnamese writing paper is an ideal length for an album of this genre.

I think expectations are met with this album, the songs are really good and in every single way this album is better than it’s predecessor. The title track is brilliant and the same goes for the opening track and several other tracks, I am not really up to writing titles at the moment but there are at least five that ought to be mentioned as really good ones. The feeling is positive and the sound is very clean yet it has this spontaneity and unpolished feel to it which makes it not only a complex trick to pull of but also a brilliant melodic rock album. I would say that they continue on the same track as they were going with the prior album.

There are some small niggles though, one or two songs does not feel completely taken to the end, they end rather abruptly and strange. Also the ending track is not particularly good, sort of a let down after such a great start but to be fair the poor ending is undone by the brilliance we get from the tracks that precede it which is why I think that it can be forgiven.

I would say that this album will catch you moving with the rhythm no matter if you are paralysed or not. It has more energy than an FNL-raid and is harder to shake from your mind than a flame of napalm on your left arm. If you like melodic rock you will not be disappointed with Livin’ My Dream which I hope will be a real breakthrough for the band making them work just like the paper mill with a slow start before hitting their full potential and maybe also making the name Bai Bang known for something else than Sweden’s biggest aid project.


Label: AOR Heaven/GerMusica
Three similar bands: L.A. Guns/Def Leppard/Europe
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
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