Released: August 2011, Japan
Even if "Because of You" will forever be immortalized as one of the most brilliant After School songs on the face of the earth, and for just writing it, Brave Sound was resurrected in my books, "Bang!" made me realize that given the right material, the girls in After School actually have talent. "Bang!" single-handedly proved that repertoire is crucial to a band's survival, and it frankly, they haven't released anything better since then.
So you could imagine how much I freaked out when I heard this Japanese version.
The Korean version of "Bang!" was very stiff, with the chanting AND the in-your-face-and firm drum rolls. Everything sounded so.. angular. I liked it, and the drums were indeed the focus of the song, but there's only so much of it that you can take, especially when you hear a much more fluid version, courtesy of the Japanese re-arrangement.
Basically, what happened between the Japanese and Korean versions is that a bunch of new instruments were added, everything was made much more intense, but they also made the song much more rounded and less stiff. However, all of that was done without losing the attitude and a bit of the crisp sound of the Korean version. And, like the Supernova song, the Japanese lyrics had something to do with it too.
It's a fresh take on a now-classic After School song, and it takes the fluidity of the new After School sound and incorporates it into the package. What you get is again, a balance.