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"Kong - NME album review - 8/10"

Snakes are meant to be repulsive; sneaky killing machines made of cold blood and untrustworthy eyes. Even more repulsive perhaps, is that nature made them on purpose and allowed the twisted among us to be magnetised by their creepy aura. ‘Snake Magnet’ is definitely making us twisted. Influenced by 400 Blows, Shellac, Fugazi and The Jesus Lizard, Manchester’s Kong don’t make music reminiscent of anything the city’s known for. Despite a worthy homage to Albini, there’s nothing textbook about this trio; they sound as intriguing as they look and play as dirty as they talk. ‘Snake Magnet’ is the sort of brilliant, balls-out art rock that will destroy the weak and blow up the pretentious. Just what Britain needs.

8/10 - NME

"Kong - Rocksound - album review 8/10"

Bands hate being pigeonholed, and as such Manchester three-piece Kong must be mighty happy campers. ‘Snake Magnet’, their debut album, sounds very little like anything else. It’s spasmodic, darkly humorous, often brilliantly loud, and utterly insane. This album’s so good, it defies logic. But, given that they perform live with their faces painfully distorted in masks fashioned out of sticky tape, delivering bewildering, transfixing shows, it somehow all makes sense. It takes time to love ‘Snake Magnet’, but if join Kong in their mad, mad world, you’ll feel all the better for it. Do it, you crazy motherfucker.

8/10 - Rocksound

"Kong - Drowned in sound album of the month - 8/10"

Three minutes and 45 seconds into this record, you’ll know whether you love Kong or not.

By then you’ll have experienced a ridiculously tight and avant-garde instrumental intro, a vaguely hypnotic noise representing vocals, and a stripped down guitar / drum face off. You’ll be starting to understandably ‘think’ that you’re getting a rough idea of where ‘Leather Penny’ is heading, when all of Hades breaks lose.

If a scream could shatter glass, the noise that ensues is that wail. If a guitar solo could represent a riot spiralling out of control, this would be that twisted instrument’s output. If a record could find another level to take itself to when you’d thought your speakers were at their loudest, then this is that freakish aural oddity.

Welcome to the world Kong live in.

It’s not really like our world. We have faces and language and eardrums; Kong have mere remnants of these. Somewhere under the scary masks and scarier matching red outfits are three men fighting complacency and musical preconceptions via dry humour, experimentation and a whole lot of noise.

With each repeat listen the fragmented rhythms - which initially seemed dysfunctional and obscure - meld into a coherent whole. Words like ‘bell’, ‘bumhole’, ‘seven’ and ‘litigate’ drift in and out of focus; drum patterns start to make sense, shortly before they spasm into another form entirely. After days, the odd tune even begins to appear. And with each rotation, Kong lay claim to yet another small part of your entity.

Like almost any band, their sound owes a slight debt to bands already selling their wares. Largely due to the way the guitars have been tuned and the desire to experiment with unorthodox timings, Shellac are their closest neighbour. But their ability to play around with vocals, devolve their songs into the kind of insane wig outs Lightning Bolt thrive on and have that sub-layer of noise reminiscent of Jesus Lizard and Mudhoney at their best means that Snake Magnet is still an album that only Kong could have made. And it’s one that’s also more viscerally exciting and playful than anything that any of their peers have produced in the last decade or so.

The only things that stops it perhaps entirely running away with 2009 is the fact that many of these songs have been around for a good year or so now - especially the more ‘instant’ tunes such as ‘A Hint of Rennit Innit’ and ‘Blood of a Dove’; that and the sheer relentlessness of the beast. In some senses that second point is one of the album's strongest assets, as when it drops the onslaught briefly for a slightly indulgent ‘Good Graphics’ and lengthy five minute intro to the aptly named ‘Long’ you miss the mayhem, yet conversely this isn’t an album you’d likely put on in the background. It’s a record that insists on your full attention. And when a band has songs as cleverly pieced together as the three pronged attack that is ‘Wet Your Knives’ or the freakishly deformed ‘NIH’, your attention is the very least that Kong will ensnare.

Breathlessly loud, startlingly daring, intentionally different; Snake Magnet is not for those with no sticking power or love of rock at it’s most blisteringly raw. But after experiencing the frightening world that Kong have created, almost anything else feels strangely mundane and anaemic.

Three minutes and 45 seconds into this record, you’ll know whether you love Kong or not. And by god, you ought to.


Album of the month - July - Drowned in Sound

"Kong - Album Review - The Fly - 3.5/5"

This Manchester trio’s moniker indicates that this is a group whose souls and roaring riffs belong at the heftier end of guitar bashing and that marks true as their debut LP unfolds through complex and yet primal rhythms underneath brazen, blazing bassing and guitars that are spiny and occasionally growling. At other times, ‘Snake Magnet’ expands and diffuses into brambled and barren soundscapes before inhaling and whooshing back into a vortex of inventive, prog-tinged punk wrong. Kong’s output, needless to say, is hardly for the faint-hearted; this is a debut album that grinds, gashes and revels in the dark and haunting but undeniably soulful aspects of musicianship and life. Abrasive, ambitious and elegant, exploring the underside of rock where amidst rust and the spiders can be found gnarled, intense and compellingly cracked beauty.

3.5/5 - The Fly

"Kong - single review"

Manchester mob definitively kick the pop out of the punk with this raw and abrasive track with a hefty dose of Fugazi lurking beneath the surface - Kerrang

"BBC Radio 1 -review"

One of the best live bands in the UK right now - Dan Carter - Radio 1 DJ


Blood of a Dove/A Hint of rennit innt 7" single released 2008

Leather Penny cd single released 2008 - b-sides feature The Bronx and Future of the Left

Snake Magnet album DVD released 2009

Leather Penny & Blood of a dove along with some album tracks are available to listen to on www.myspace.com/kongdom

Tracks have previously been played on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6 and XFM. Band also recorded a live session at Maida Vale studios for Radio 1



Kong is not a name chosen by accident. It does not describe an effeminate collection of callow fuckers thrust together by a desire to look plucked or sound eager to please.

All are/were/shall be in other, perhaps more commercially viable bands, which is notable only because it fills out their biography and creates the impression of a deeper back-story, which becomes, by definition, massively interesting to idiots. Yes, Nancy was in Jane's Addiction, and Milicent founded ITV.

Kong's music, such as it is, takes all the risibly obnoxious elements of lots of very loud, credible bands, feeds it non-brand specific lager, then comes on it in its sleep.

In summary - the first time I saw them play I felt a burning sensation on my arm and realised that I had developed eczema.

Andrew Falkous 2008 (McLusky/Future of the left)