Bonk
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Bonk

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Review by Corey Apar
Norwegian quartet Bonk love rock & roll that gets down and dirty, but they throw listeners for enough loops on Bonk Against Nothing to leave a more interesting album than just that of the standard garage rock variety. Coming off very British (see "The Homecoming"), they certainly have the confidence and energy of many of their peers, but there's more of cool and collected vibe running throughout their music instead of just reckless hedonism, which makes Bonk seem smarter (despite their stupid name) and more appealing than most. They spit punk intensity more than swaggering haughtiness, and it seems the guys still have more brewing up their collective sleeve — which is pretty exciting news in terms of their next album. Though the album's second half rings more memorable than the first, Bonk splash bluesy touches here, hard rock power there, and garage dirt throughout, making the overall album pretty varied. Throw in random cuts like the standout electrified cheerleading to acoustic rumble of "Demian," the excellent steady creep of "Everyday #," and the punk meets spoken word force of the title track and "Young Men," which layers an erratic saxophone over propulsive drums and driving guitars, and Bonk Against Nothing actually gets more fun and invigorating with each deserving spin.

- Review by Corey Apar


Artist of the Day By Spin Staff on November 21, 2006 4:00 AM

Who? Started by "sleazy hippies of the Oslo punk scene"(that's straight from their press release, folks), Andreas "Dez" Grotterud (guitar/vocals) and Leif Frimann Koren (guitar/vocals) early in this millenium, Bonk initally worked with various musicians until they connected with the steadying force of drummer Gisle Amundsen. The 2005 debut, Western Soul, caught the ear of Bard Hovik, who was so impressed with the sound that he offered his services as a bassist. Bonk have since brought their blend of Norwegian death-punk and fuzzed out rock riffs to fans in Europe and China, and they've played with other notable imports like Franz Ferdinand and the Hives. Their newest album, Bonk Against Nothing, has been shipped to our shores care of the Ace Fu Records imprint.

What's the Deal? Trying to describe Bonk's sound and pinpoint their influences seems to be a kind of aural Rorschach test: What you hear may have more to do with what your perception is and what your personal influences are, than anything the band would cop to. The bouncy New Wave-inflected opener, "The House," has all the electric energy of the aforementioned Franz Ferdinand, while the heavier flow of "Images" smacks of a juicy kiss from Judas Priest. Careening from moments of Motorhead to kicking out the punk jams like a modern day MC5, Bonk even have a pinch of the Pixies (most evident on the cheeky Surfer Rosa-style shouted opener to "Demlan").

Fun Fact: According to their website, Dez and Leif chose the name Bonk because "beside obvious connotations [it] also represents an art ensemble from Finland involved in all aspects of modern art." We were thinking it might also stand for "Band Outta Norway Kills." Plus, Bonk have roots in the Norwegian punk-rock band Anal Babes.BRIANA MOWREY
- Spin Magazine - Briana Mowrey


Discography

Western Soul LP (AceFu Records, Racing Junior, Spotify) 2004
Bonk Against Nothing LP (AceFu Records, Racing Junior, Spotify) 2006

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