Zong - Zong

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2017-11-04
Zong - Zong
Zong - Zong

Zong by Zong is the debut album by three lads from Brisbane. The first thing you notice is the exceptional artwork by drummer Henry Bennett. The album itself was recorded at the end of last year at Unicorn Planet Studios in their home town.

The album starts out like a more evil version of Meddle-era Pink Floyd with cymbals swelling and guitar lines echoing. But there is also a sense of foreboding about it as we wait for Cosmic Embryo to get going. Soon Bennett comes in on the drums and guitarist Zac Anderson steps on the Wah-Wah and heads for the Stratosphere. For 13 minutes Anderson, Bennet and bassist Michael Grinstead play a much gnarlier form of Jam music. Occasionally it’s like Quicksilver Messenger Service but then a more fuzz-drenched Stoner riff will kick in, like Sleep on Holy Mountain. As I said in the Plastic Crimewave Syndrome (also on Cardinal Fuzz) review yesterday, we all know the influences but people who like Fuzzy, Psychedelic Rock will always be looking for new albums of nice stuff. Especially when the intensity builds and builds as it does here. The next song begins with Wah-Wah wind and a drone before the rhythm section start up. Arcane Sand has a more tentative beginning and is slower paced than Cosmic Embryo. Soon Anderson starts pushing an Egyptian-sounding guitar line through the Wah-Wah. Again, the intensity builds, with Bennett leading the way this time and Grinstead holding it together. Anderson takes up two guitar tracks, duelling with himself. After the tentative start, Arcane Sand ends even more ferociously than Cosmic Embryo. More Wah-Wah sound effects usher in Giant Floating Head. Bennett then lays down a tribal rhythm. Anderson’s first riffs are quite Grunge but then turn more Stoner. Grinstead is on top form throughout. After a lull in the middle of the track, Anderson moves to playing chords and we are closer to the great Hills live album from earlier this year but with a more 70s influence. Anderson then spends the last two minutes unleashing the mother or all solos. The album ends with the rather grand-sounding Return of the Alien King. As with the other tracks, the band take their time selecting a course, before turning their pedals on. This track has more of a 70s Stoner feel to it, somewhere between Blue Cheer and Pentagram. Bennett lays down an unlikely but effective rhythm whilst Grinstead roams his fretboard and Anderson kicks off on two or three tracks, like a demented Lynyrd Skynyrd.

If Cardinal Fuzz are going to go on a run like Rocket Recordings are currently on, it will be bad news for our bank balances. But, having reviewed Plastic Crimewave Syndrome yesterday and now Zong today, things are looking good for the Psych label. Zong is an album of Fuzzed Out Jams from way out in an imagined desert. These days, Peak Flow readings dictate that I must listen to it whilst jogging rather than skinning up but it’s good gear whatever your pleasure is.

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