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Bong: Stoner Rock

Album Review

Tantric drone wizards look to their Sunn-y side

Bong just get better. The North-East England, heavy, psychedelic, occult drone ensemble are assured enough in what they are doing to have a bit of fun at their own expense.

The title Stoner Rock is a tongue-in-cheek dig at the shallow, codified form of mainstream rock this subgenre has become, while the cover art of the base of a stone temple flanked by a gateway of human femurs pokes fun at their own aesthetic influenced by such fantastical and magickal writers as HP Lovecraft and Austin Osman Spare. They are fully aware that they now operate from a core so solid that there is no ephemerality left to puncture. 

As on the last album, Manna Yood Sushai, they have opted for two lengthy, repetitive, monolithic, mid-paced, improvised drone rock numbers both in excess of 30 minutes long. There is a perception of Bong as being grimey, murky and sludgy in sound and execution but this is a perception that should be cleansed along with one’s third eye. Polaris is like the towering brass gates of Heaven inching open until the merest crack of light sears the retinas with divine radiance. One chord – countless possibilities.

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