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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Album Of The Day-Gonga-"Self-Titled" (2004)

The Album Of The Day is the 2004 Self-Titled release from Gonga.


One of those albums one can't imagine being recorded with anything other than Orange or Green brand amplifiers, Gonga's eponymous debut takes the classic stoner rock blueprint as set down by desert gods Kyuss and adds an unexpected twist of grunge via singer Joe Volk's unnervingly precise Kurt Cobain imitation. Believe it, brothers and sisters, the sound of a Bleach-era Cobain wailing and whining over the gargantuan, sub-Sabbath grind-riffs powering standout tracks like "Burnt Honey," "Fellow Man" and first single "Stratofortress," is as chilling as it is thrilling. But aside from reminding us just how much those old Seattle bands bowed down to Black Sabbath in the first place (hello, Soundgarden!), everything else about Gonga's music positively screams classic 90's stoner rock. Touching upon most of the genre's popular devices at one time or another, the band intersperses occasional instrumentals ("Pocket Scientist," the doom-tastic "Octane Bud") and acoustic guitar snippets "Untitled No. 2" & "No. 3") with the energetic highway anthems cited above, as well as a few lengthy stoner jams ("Hermes," "Mosquitos" [sic]) sure to incite the sort of head-nodding that generally precedes spilling your bong-water everywhere. All in all, it's pretty evident that there's nothing at all original or unique about Gonga's sonic exploits; but, almost ten years on from Kyuss' demise, it's equally impossible not to enjoy such lovingly crafted stoner rock. (Ed Rivadavia, All Music Guide)

Track Listing:

01. Pocket Scientist
02. Burnt Honey
03. Hermes
04. Untitled No. 2
05. Stratofortress
06. The Pomp
07. Manali Summer
08. Untitled No. 3
09. Fellow Man
10. Octane Bud
11. Mosquitos (Bonus Track)


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