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Bong : Mana-Yood-Sushai

For a band called Bong, what else could you expect, if not resin soaked groove, and acrid smoke?

They say one should never judge a book by its cover (or in this case, a band by its name, I suppose), but really, for a band called Bong, what else was I supposed to expect, if not resin soaked groove, and acrid smoke?

Well, the album's title, "Mana-Yood-Sushai", should've been just the tip of an iceberg called 'all is not what it seems' (Incidentally, Mana-Yood-Sushai is a fictional deity, responsible for the creation of all the known gods, in the works of Lord Dunsay--yes, I had to Wikipedia that... and I'm saving you the trouble of doing the same, or piquing your interest. Pick one). The fact that there are only two tracks here, clocking in at over 49 minutes, should've been the cherry on the, uhm, iceberg cake... or something.

Anyway, this is an album that is best described through initial reactions, good and bad alike. With that in mind, I'm presenting my point form notes from my first listen, unedited, and unaltered:

- middle eastern flavoured. Appropriate for the album title.
- very drone-y, and somewhat psychedelic.
- almost like some of Earth's more ambient moments (but shhhh... we don't talk about those).
- it's a bit like I'm listening to 'Ouroboros is Broken' (From Earth's 1991 EP, "Extra-Capsular Extraction"), but with a more middle eastern flair.
- how many times will I need to type middle eastern?
- the vocals are bit silly. We get it: it's supposed to sound like some sort of prayer/chant... but it doesn't work. Shut up, and let the music do the talking.
- mercifully, it seems to be an isolated thing.
- never mind, there it is again around nine minutes, but works better when it's more of a background thing.
- this is most certainly NOT the magic carpet ride you are looking for. Unless the one you want ends in sacrifice.
- I don't have enough trees to fully appreciate this.
- playing this backwards will put the summoned Djinn BACK into their respective bottles, right?
- so they're called Bong, but really, the only thing overtly stoner about this album seems to be the band when they recorded it.
- production on this is fuckin' ace, though.
- okay, maybe it's sophisticated stoner/drone... pack a pipe, instead of a bowl, and don't forget your monocle and top hat. Like a sir.
- I don't even have much else to say about the song, it just drags on... the perfect cure for when you REALLY like that three minute intro, but are too lazy to hit repeat ten times. - I am way too sober for this.
- should've reached for the rolling papers, instead of the beer, when I put this on.
- someone get me a camel, and a desert... this would complement what I'm hearing beautifully.
- this is the soundtrack to an exodus (no, not the Bay-area thrash band, but the thing they did out of Egypt. You know, like in that one old book?).
- the aural sound scapes Bong is painting are quite wonderful. Ambient drone at its finest.
- it's background music. I'm having a hard time concentrating on what I'm hearing without getting the urge to do other things.
- no vocals here. That's good.
- can I make another comparison to Earth? ...no? Well fuck you, I will anyway. It's a less pretentious, and more doom version of mid-period Earth. A classy Earth, if you will... or a rare Earth, if you prefer horrible puns.
- have you ever viewed a painting of a desert scene, and almost felt the sand between your toes, and the hot sun looming on the horizon? This album is just like that. I feel like I should be squinting with my hand on my forehead, and wiping the sweat off my brow.
- this is mood music. What mood though, I'm not entirely sure... desperation? ...longing? acceptance of the inevitable? ...something else, perhaps?

There it is, then. Bong's "Mana-Yood-Sushai", as experienced by this humble reviewer. Much like any trip, however, this one will be different for everyone. Do pack your bags (and your bong! ... ... ...wow, I'm sorry for that one. It just slipped out), though, because Bong is sending you on a trip. How you come back, if at all, is entirely up to you.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Tress, Grass and Stones
2. Dreams of Mana-Yood-Sushai

Duration : Approx. 49 minutes

Visit the Bong bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-05-19 by Matt Zuchowski
Hate Your Guts Records
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