KONG is back! Years after perplexing the world with their groove and sample-laden instrumental stew, the world's only "quadrophonic" band (the four musicians each play in one corner of a room, with the audience in the middle) has been resurrected and, despite a mostly new lineup, has picked up where they left off. On the radar of more open-minded metalheads for their stint on the Peaceville label, which resulted in the cult classic "Phlegm" record, this Amsterdam quartet remains a quizzical unknown to all but the most faithful.For those who do know KONG's vibe, don't expect a major departure — they're still creating cool, sprawling little mini-soundscapes with peaks, valleys and plenty of jazzy groove and heavy riffs bouncing off drum breaks and hypnotic bass lines. There seems to be a more direct, guitar-oriented approach nowadays, a little more urgent and live, with more soloing, more red-meat rock jamming and less reliance on samples to carry songs (though they're still there, and certainly add a lot of atmospheric elements). The overall effect remains the same, though. In a perfect world, KONG would score every quirky, fast-paced, impossibly hip indie flick that came along — no, scratch that. KONG would make albums like "What It Seems Is What You Get", and then films would be made around the songs. It's hard not to picture heists, car chases, foreign bazaars, and long, drug-addled drives through Technicolor deserts while in the grip of the band's cinematic sonic sprawl (especially in headphones). Time signatures shift and change with effortless, slinky abandon, guitar melodies come and go, bass lines throb, and the whole thing just cooks with an energy that's as elemental and from-the-gut as it is cerebral. I'll go out on a limb and say that some of the more curious fans of tangentially metallic prog, from OSI to the works of Devin Townsend, would really dig KONG, given exposure to their subversive, seductive sound. Nothing here is technically dazzling — that's not the point — but they put these quirky elements together in a way we haven't heard since, well, since they did it last time. Definitely something off the beaten path, for those looking for a refreshing break from the ordinary — hard to explain, but easy to love, and highly recommended. Welcome back, lads, and we'll take more when you've got it!
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to block users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.