Review: The Bongoloids feat. The Xanadu Sound – Fig. 10

The Bongoloids Ft. The Xanadu Sound - Fig 10It’s that sensation of waking on a train, and the confusion and uncertainty that dangles from the pit of the stomach as the mind ingests the sudden transformation of place. I have cross-faded to somewhere else now, and peer between The Bongoloids’ broken guitars and dull brass to try and identify just a glint of the landscape from where I’d just come. The band tear down absolutely everything at the end of each track – instruments, lighting, FX units, entire chunks of wall – and re-emerge in a strange and unsettling new formation in time for the next, switching from little globs of playdough and wind-up toys to gargantuan hazes of pollution coursing through entire cityscapes, and then on to rainforests of hidden breakbeat and tropical feedback.

There are points of explicit music like “Germs Again Again”, whose Tupperware beat barely upholds spokes of guitar and drones that arc the sky like comets. Perhaps the most distinctive scent on the record is that of flimsy artificial material – plastic, rubber, cellophane – which manifest as little pings and bubbles of punctuation slipping out of tune and timing, or perhaps the synthetic crinkle of an amplifier tone, all of which jut out of the more gracefully assembled landscape like crisp packets dropped in a national park. But for the most time I’m completely clueless, nodding my head to those moments where the album haphazardly straddles an electronic beat, in a total absence of anything else to cling on to.