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KONG – Blood of a Dove (Brew Records, 7″)

Posted: August 3rd, 2008, by Dave Stockwell

Shit. This’ll be the third time I try to review this record. Let’s hope I don’t scratch the CD any more or my crappy computer doesn’t crash from overheating again before I reach the end. Anyway:

This record came out on Monday 28th July. It’s in a limited edition of 500 in translucent red, which is cool because everyone knows that coloured 7″s are totally down with the kids now. And translucent red is always the best colour to have your vinyl. You can buy it here: www.myspace.com/brewrecords.

This review is pretty redundant. Not only because it’s late, but because you can listen to both sides of it here: www.myspace.com/kongdom.

But whatever. Maybe you want to read a little whilst you listen. So who are Kong? A power trio (guitar, bass, drums) from Manchester, I heard they contain members of Oceansize (who released their debut 7″ on Diskant-related label Errol back in about ’99) and Amplifier (who I have a demo CD by that must have come out in about 2000 and are apparently still going). There are a bunch of videos of them on Youtube, the most pertinent of which is probably this:


From this video you can make out a penchant for clown masks; that their guitarist manages to make a Fender Stratocaster sound really nasty for the first time I can remember in years; that their bassist seems to wish he was Andy from That Fucking Tank:

Some pretty cool sound quality on there though.

So what are the sounds like on the 7″? Well, Kong seem to like early 90s Chicago-based bands that make rock music that Americans like to call “Noiserock” a lot. Probably all the ones recorded by Steve Albini. Or just The Jesus Lizard. But don’t worry, they’re a hell of a lot better than Qui.

‘Blood of a Dove‘ is a straightforward dirge-rock song propelled by a particularly tasty guitar riff and some incomprehensible vocals that are probably about being pissed off. It’s an ideal ‘single’ track, showcasing Kong’s distinctive sound and some impressively bludgeoning drums. Basically, it’s a nice taster.

‘Hint of a Rennit Innit’ (no, I don;t know either) is texturally very similar but musically a lot more adventurous, exploring some atonal scale runs and off-kilter rhythmic changes. Sometimes it annoys me with its self-consciously clever-cleverness, but other times it’s rally nice to hear a band doing something other than the usual big-heavy-look-it-rocks blues scale rifforamas in favour of something a little different.

One thing: the sound of this band is very cool indeed. In these days of Pro-Tooled-to-fuck indentikit rock bands where every single song is compressed to fuck, where every time the drummer hits a splash cymbal it drowns out the kick drum and every time the singer opens his fat gob you can’t hear the guitars anymore, Kong are very much Old School and very much welcome. Everything is balanced well (though I keep expecting the vocals to be drowned out by the sheer volume of the instruments, as they would be at a gig with massive amps but a crap PA, but that’s just me). Kong’s sound is big, they can play well, and they can play together really well. They play loud, tight, fat-as-fuck rock music as it should be played, and it sounds great. Oh, and they also did a gig at Big Hands in Manchester. Which, if you’ve ever been in there, is a very cool place to play some very loud, very distorted, pissed-off-again rock music. Respect.

Dave Stockwell

David can always be relied on to end his e-mails with one of those 'np: blah blah' things in order to remind us of how much more music he listens to every day than anybody else. His interests include rockin ' out in a major style as guitarist in Souvaris, throwing frisbees from tall buildings "just to see what happens" and simply kickin' back with his bitches in a gold-plated jacuzzi.


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