KONGOS - 1929, Pt. 1
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Since their inception, KONGOS have been crafting music that sits outside of the confines of modern pop expectations, and their latest album, 1929, Pt. 1 is no exception. Taking a step away from their previous material for a more experimental sound, 1929, Pt. 1 proves that KONGOS aren’t afraid to try new things and are still continuously pushing the boundaries of their music.
Although it doesn’t necessarily pertain to their sound in the context of the song, the first line of the album’s first track, “Something New,” is “Maybe we should try something new,” and it couldn’t be a more perfect start to the band’s most dynamic and experimental release to date. Following the heavily synth driven “Something New” is “I Am Not Me,” which takes a step away from the first song and feels a bit more like the band’s older material, driven forward by a stomping drum beat, catchy vocals and accordion. “I Am Not Me” perfectly showcases all of the best sides of KONGOS, both new and old.
Lyrically, 1929, Pt. 1 is all about ups and downs, so while fourth track, “Pray For The Weekend” feels like a total party, “Wild Hearts” feels like a comedown. In fact, there’s a lot of push and pull on this album, be it between differing sounds, emotions, or energy. For instance, “Keep Your Head,” hosts that familiar hard-hitting beat that KONGOS fans have come to know and love, but is balance out by a more electric underton. Lyrically, “Keep Your Head” is incredibly uplifting, too, in lines like, Keep your headphones on / Make ‘em loud / drown out all this sound.” Meanwhile, the following song, “When You’re Here” is backdropped by oscillating synth and spearheaded by strong vocals, guitar and heavy bass.
1929, Pt. 1 is certainly more experimental than KONGOS previous releases, swapping massive, foot-stomping choruses for intricate instrumentals, toned-down sounds and introspective lyricism. There are definitely a few songs that long-time KONGOS fans will enjoy, but for the most part, this album finds the band experimenting more than ever, and it pays off. These songs are unpredictable, lyrically powerful and most importantly, unique. With more new music promised soon, 1929, Pt. 1 shows quite a bit of promise for the future of KONGOS and proves that they’re definitely not done growing.
LISTEN TO: “I Am Not Me” or “Pray For The Weekend”
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