A horrible hack

Kong - That Fucking Tank - Castrovalva - Shield Your Eyes


Year Released: 2011
Format: 10"
Label: Brew Records
Reviewed by Michael McCann on Jul 13, 2011
I remember standing intoxicated and undulating in Cardiff's Buffalo Bar, wistfully staring into the eyes of a young Steven Hodson. It was otherworldly. Gazing deep into his [insert colour] eyes, he into mine, neither one of us willing to break stare. He was 9ft tall, wearing a perspex mask, and it's pretty likely that he was bare-legged and in his underpants. It reminded me of being raped by my father. Anyway, I think they were playing music at the time, and Kong, along with prominent touring contemporaries Castrovalva, Shield Your Eyes and That Fucking Tank comprise this energetic, if a little uneven, quadruple split. Complements of Brew Records.

Before listening to it, I saw a video for the opening track, Ribbons, on youtube and wasn't much into it. I think it was all the words flashing across the screen, causing mild seizures and distracting. Kong isn't a band which lends itself to lyrical scrutiny and they aren't a strong point here. What the song does do is open with a most monstrous riff and energy which doesn't let up throughout the duration of the song. Certainly, listening to it in better fidelity helps. [insert your own disgusting pounding euphemism here to describe the drums]. It's textbook Kong and IT'S FUN. Even if it doesn't quite reach some of the highs (or lows) off of snake magnet.

Keeping in mind that one of the other songs on this split is done-performed by Castrovalva; what follows is probably the most out of place song on the release. I've seen all of these bands live before, in-the-flesh, but in particular I've seen Shield Your Eyes a lot! I've seen them more times than Michael Barrymore has had pool parties. Maybe it's the lo-fi-ness of it sets it askew, but I think more that they've always had this romantic quality to their music which the other bands on this release do not possess. Perhaps literally singing a girls name and then about changing your mind about her like some het up teenager doesn't help matters. One awesome section of the song before the verse cries out for some funky chicken walk type of dance. Oh yeah! And yet Jessica finds herself falling into a hole along with some of the SYE tropes, which I enjoy immensely, but can't help feeling have been more effective elsewhere. The That Fucking Tank track that follows gets me right in the cock!

You know that bit?

That bit. - YOU KNOW!!

That bit in the middle that makes you want to get your cock out and swing it around the place. Slapping all the mothers. NWONWOBH is indeed a very solid cock rock tune. I can't help wonder what the abbreviated song title is about though! Maybe it's a countdown ala bouffant conundrum. Finally, In Our Prime is as absurd as ever from Castrovalva, and IT'S FUN! The chorus is the punchy as heck and the song really works its way into a groove. So much so that I think it 's the best stand alone track on the split. It is the potato on a plate full of mixed salad, if you will. It's not a bad plate by any stretch of the imagination, far from it. It comes with added value of a digital download of a 65 Days of Static remix of Ribbons which is mad - the package and artwork is bad-arse and and it's a great entree to all of the bands featured. It's just that sometimes salad just tastes odd on its own.

So, I had a pint with Steven Hodson a couple years later and I told him about our moment that we shared and about how much it scared the shit out of me. He said he didn't remember.

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