Review Summary: Not what you expect…
Hailing from the UK, droning doomsters Bong have been noted for a continual wave of oppressive tonal heaviness. It’s weird that a band so obviously branded in the drone/doom genre would create an album aptly titled, Stoner Rock
. For Bong, there’s an inside joke when members of the online community describe which genre tags represent their music and rather than objectifying and resenting a particular tag, these UK drone fanatics created a record on what they perceive Bong’s stoner rock sound is. Understandably, new listeners will not see the connection between the album’s title and the two tracks of stimulating funeral doom inspired drone that swells, coils, ebbs and overwhelms the record’s listeners, but if Bong were to do things in a conventional setting, Stoner Rock
would have none of the immediate impact.
Bong’s Statement: “It is a tongue-in-cheek dig at our usual classification as stoner rock and what the term has come to represent. The idea is to create our own definition of ‘stoner rock’ by creating an album so utterly stoned and repetitive to be a million miles away from the usual definition.”
”Those who know Bong already will get both the humour and the philosophical redefinition… those who don’t know us will either get it when they listen or will never understand BONG at all.”
With an average track running time of thirty-six minutes, it’s fair to say that patience is required to get through the album’s seventy-two minute display of murky atmospherics and near endless drones. Bong expect you to suffer, with soundscapes so drawn out the listener must simply follow the rabbit hole, down, down and down, even if they’re uncertain of whether a beam of light will be found on the other side. For those new to the band’s music, Stoner Rock
is a perfect display of the group’s outreaching atmospherics, with a taste of dementia. It’s primal, but recorded in pristine conditions, letting every chord wobble through your speakers. Granted that music found within the drone genre may not be everybody’s first choice for an excellent listing experience, but once absorbed into the tumultuous tidings, tracks like ‘Out Of The Aeons’ come easier and easier. Don’t worry so much on what you’re listening to, just listen.
Despite releasing an album consecutively for the last four years (the last being Idle Days On The Yann
), the band hasn’t really seen a decrease in quality or effectiveness of the atmospherics that deeply lace their music. Stoner Rock
is longer, less contrasting and sounds more accessible than earlier releases. Put simply, Bong are not releasing re-hashed material, giving their 2014 record its own form, its own distinct droning sound. Overall, the group’s 2014 release is a galvanising listing affair that twists and turns throughout its own monstrous body. With small amount of lyrical intervention, Stoner Rock
identifies with the listeners’ sub-conscious, and best manifests itself within the walls of the human mind. Forget what the band’s inside joke is with genre classification and let Bong take a mesmeric stroll inside your psyche.