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About
Bongo
Cock Rock Disco
www.cockrockdisco.com


I started listening to this one over the summer, and then stopped. And then started again, just to stop shortly thereafter. Now, I'm listening again; my involvement with this album is rather on again, off again.

About is Rutger Hoedemaekers with a host of guest musicians and vocalists. The music is a bit wide ranging, with indie, pop, rock, electronica and psychobilly mixed together in multiple configurations. The end result is music that was performed, has been looped, sampled and run over by the musical equivalent of a Mack truck. When About sticks to the indie-pop-rock formula is when it's at its most successful. The laptop experimentalism is occasionally interesting, but without any progressive structure, these sequences tend to fall flat. The tracks with Marg Van Eenbergen as guest vocalist remind me of The Frenchmen, and make for an enjoyable pairing, particularly when vocal duties are shared with Rutger. At 32 minutes, Bongo is a fairly short album, but I think it could be pared down a little into a less wander-some version. "Boo (Hoo)" is a 2:47 track of aimless percussion loops married to chunks of clunky melody. It's interesting for about 20 seconds, but gets old quick. For someone so capable of making distinctive pop-rock, I think his experimentation is far more effective within the confines of a more traditional song. Those songs provide the comfort of the familiarity of structure, but also benefit from the eclectically-clunky, laptop wizardry that grows tiresome in the non-progressive tracks. The experimentalism is far more effective in smaller, more carefully measured doses. Overall, I like this album even if it has this odd habit of pushing me away even as it draws me in.

-JD

Track Listing:
1. Think Niles Drink
2. Strike You as the Enemy
3. Nogato
4. BanDDynamics
5. Give it a Rest
6. Persona
7. Furry Dice (dangling from the guitar)
8. She Knows Everything About All Who Ever Drank Coffee With Her
9. friends applaud, the comedy is over
10. You Got It and a Bit
11. Tell Me
12. Boo (Hoo)
13. Stack of Marshalls


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Mike Doughty



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