October 27, 2021

Bong – We Are, We Were And We Will Have Been

RITUAL PRODUCTIONS  25th May 2015

The name of the band should give you a clue. Their last album was called Stoner Rock (in reply to the pigeon hole we stick them so casually into). The real title of this set should be “Two Sides of…..”, since the album is two twenty minute jams, substantially different, showing two aspects of the band’s work. The first, Time Regained, presumably a T S Elliot quote, is drone-rock extraordinaire. Distortion and fuzz reign, drum beats are tomb-heavy and drag, riffs circle and grind, melding instead of succeeding each other. A token guitar figure stands out from the murk and a droning doomy vocal arrives to drone portentously. The last two Bong albums have been all about the sensation and the mood, the impact of repetition and the transcendence of thought; this continues the theme.

Find Your Own Gods opens on some brief intoning about gods but moves into quite different territory, reminding me of the echoing wah-wah tone of parts of Miles Davis’ mid-seventies albums, Big Fun and Get Up On It. It goes somewhere between a funk band on Quaaludes and a dream recreation of John McLaughlin in an echo chamber. Fronted with a cover by Turner, with his characteristic blending of shades and textures, this second track is a remarkable tonal picture worthy of Jah Wobble in his Deep Space period. Start with this one and marvel.