Tank & The Bangas, No BS! Brass and Lunch $pecial: This Week’s Sound Check

by | Jun 13, 2023 | MUSIC

Ladies and gents, can you feel it? That sizzle in the air, the pulse in the wind? That’s not just the summer heat, that’s the electrifying buzz of music in Richmond! Bid adieu to the Canadian forest fire haze and say hello to the sizzling fiesta of beats that is about to invade your senses.

This week on SOUND CHECK, we’re kick-starting the city summer voyage. From the magnetic lure of Piranha Rama to the genre-bending genius of Tank and The Bangas and the inside scoop on some the freshest local and regional talent, this is your golden ticket to Richmond summer. Now, let’s dive into the groove and unwrap a few acts that are about to make your summer unforgettable.

If you’re an artist who’s got new tunes, press releases, or suggestions, send them our way. Send an email to Bones at bones@rvamag.com.


You should be acquainted with Piranha Rama by now. This Richmond group doesn’t find their way onto a stage too often, but that’s only because every single member is a hotshot who gigs all over town. Piranha Rama released a record last year called Existential Cloud Clover that I previously talked about last fall, and if you’re a fan of irreverent yet technically proficient music you should absolutely check it out. If that tickles your fancy, then make your way down to Brown’s Island this Friday for a local band that will hold you hostage for the next few months on their music, and then stick around for an act I’m thoroughly excited for. 

Tank and The Bangas have been around for a hot second, and it’s time they get the recognition they deserve. It is uncommon for a band to so seamlessly blend a number of genres like jazz, hip hop, soul, and spoken word poetry, yet Tank and The Bangas packed it all into one hot package. It might sound like overload, but they could not have a lighter touch. The New Orleans band have three studio albums to their name, with their newest record taking the form of a radio broadcast hosted by the weirdest flex of all time; Wayne Brady. A truly unique blend of sounds, Tank and The Bangas are one of a kind, and definitely worth the trek out to Brown’s Island this weekend. Make your way down there for this group that is sure to dominate your evening car rides out to Cook Out this Summer.


Thursday, June 15th @ Richmond Music Hall
Thursday nights are a great time to get out to a less energetic show and enjoy a beer while taking in some tunes with some thought. This week at The Richmond Music Hall, our city will be graced with the sounds of Zach Person and Shane Guerrette. Person is an indie guitarist who seems to be striving to be the next great guitar hero. His indie rock sound is bursting to the brim with personality and draws influence from blues music in its form and pop music with its electronic backing. Shane Guerrette keeps its real with his sound that projects the ethos of an old school soul group with effected vocals that feel like they are sung through a blown out speaker. The perfect middle ground between chilled out Summer vibes and a true party, these two indie rockers make for a perfect night of child music out on the town. 


Out of school for the Summer and looking for something to do? NO BS! Brass has you covered! Make your way down to The Broadberry Friday night for a horn band filled with your peers and professors who have the energy of a Summer night behind them to put on a great show. Headed by Reggie Watts and Bryan Hooten this staple of Richmond puts on energetic live performances, and this out of school show is sure to be a great one. Having seen the group play The Broadberry many times they manage to pack the space and get the crowd jumping off the walls.


A welcome arrival in my inbox, Lunch $pecial dropped their album in the RVA Mag email last week and it is a gift for the senses. Kasablanca is a short record at just under 20 minutes, but it uses every moment of that runtime to overwhelm the listener with a tongue-in-cheek attitude, a loose flow, and enough catchy hooks to keep snobs paying attention between puns. Sounding like a higher pitched Biz Markie, but with more care paid towards his technique, Lunch $pecial has been making the rounds on the hip hop circuit in town and released a run of singles over the last few years, but Kasablanca sets him apart for me as a true talent to keep an eye on. This record that has been on repeat for me for since it’s release, and it will remain that way for the rest of the Summer.

My favorite track on Kasablanca

  • “Fat Chance”

Summer isn’t all upbeat music and sunshine, sometimes the nights go on too long, and for those evenings it can be fun to dip into the avant-garde and heavy, so for that I present to you Maria Rose. The queer representing artist controls every aspect of her sound and visuals choreographing her music videos and going so far as to make her own outfits. Maria Rose puts a pop sheen on this heavy electronic music and has created a persona dressed in flamboyant outfits to go along with it. With a number of singles and a couple of EPs under her belt, Maria Rose has been chugging along for a few years and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. If you’re trying to find queer artists to promote this month then look no further and give this mysterious artist a listen if you need a soundtrack to your grungy nights. 

My favorite Maria Rose Track

  • “Midnight Thoughts” from Midnight Thoughts

Top photo by Jamelle Tate, courtesy of Tank and The Bangas

Andrew Bonieskie

Andrew Bonieskie

But you may call me Bones. I'm the Associate Editor of RVA Mag, and a writer and musician living in Richmond, Virginia. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in music and a minor in creative writing I have gone on to score feature and short films, released a book of poetry, an album of original music, and perform lead vocals with the band Pebbles Palace.

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