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KONG – Leather Penny (CD, Brew Records)

Posted: December 9th, 2008, by Dave Stockwell

Manchester-based misanthropes Kong return with their second single, this time on CD and everything. “Leather Penny” is another track from a forthcoming-in-2009 debut album called ‘Snake Magnet’ and is backed by two versions of a song called “Count Too Nine” featuring special guest vocalists from bands The Bronx and Future of the Left that I can’t tell you about because there’s just the one track on my promo copy.

So then, first single “Blood of a Dove” showcased a band weaned on the sharp edges and heavy weight of early ’90s Chicago-based rock bands such as The Jesus Lizard and Shellac (I know, both are still going in one manner or another…), with an admirable feeling of dread looming over the disjointed riffs and malformed chords. It sounded pretty great too.

“Leather Penny” continues in much the same vein of skullfuckery, featuring another killer riff that hooks itself to your brain and refuses to budge, despite the song lurching all over the place rhythmically. The bass and guitar woomph and screech appropriately, whilst the drums do the inevitable pounding on your cortex. Dramatic pauses to emphasise the weight of the band’s attack mean the vocals take a full minute to come in, and it’s no bad thing because they’re spat out in a manner so venemous it would make Johnny Rotten proud (and, hopefully, ashamed of hawking butter on television). Frankly, I really don’t like the sound of the guy’s voice much, but that’s almost a boon to this type of music.

I haven’t got a clue what the fuck the lyrics are about because I couldn’t understand a word of them. It’s not really an issue because what Kong are all about is SOUND. Sheer fucking brutality of juddering rock ballast slamming against your earlobes SOUND. Running a blunt knife down the back of your knife and boxing your ears for a laugh SOUND. The vocals are just another part of the arsenal they employ to onslaught your ears. They’d be a great band to see live.

Just two singles into their life, Kong are still a young band, even if their members have apparently been around the musical block once or twice. Their sound is pretty great and they have cool riffs seemingly coming out of their ears. At this stage, originality isn’t their strongest suit, but I, for one, will be watching with interest to see where they go next.

Kong Myspace page

Brew Records website

“Leather Penny” official video

“Leather Penny” live video on YouTube