Bong are not the band your average metal fan will know of. But cycling down a list of band names they instantly make you think “… I’ve got to listen to these”. With an album called “Stoner Rock” it’s doubled the chances of a spontaneous listen. You will need time to sit down and truly absorb yourself in this album. The album only has two tracks, each smashing through 30 minutes. A truly open mind, perhaps a wide third eye, will intoxicate the listener.
The first track is entitled ‘Polaris’ pretty much explains in the first 30 seconds what the next hour and something minutes are going to be. It in fact takes over 6 minute before the song changes and spoken word is introduced. It’s like listening to an incredibly stoned preacher speaking to an incredibly stoned mass, which comes as no surprise whatsoever. It’s probably more in the realms of ‘drone’ than your typical Sleep and Kyuss famed ‘stoner rock’. The gradual inclusion of subtle elements does break the song up without rippling the waters too much, and the latter half of the first track opens up (as much as any song like this would open up).
The second track ‘Out of Aeons’ begins almost in the same way, something which may annoy others. There are other instruments included straight away but it’s clear the two probably should be one.
What the albums lacks is hidden gems. If an album is going to be a drone guitar with little glimmerings of life here and there, there has to be something memorable. Asides from “the talking bit” there’s nothing striking and it seems it’s trying to parody bands like Earth and Sunn O))) instead of revolutionising them and the genre.
It’s somewhat enjoyable despite it’s emptiness, the single note guitar seems to wash over you making small plants go on the arid barren plane. It probably won’t get many people into the genre, especially not into stoner rock. For stoner rock see Kyuss, Sleep, and even Mastodon and Red Fang. All of which pay homage to the genre. Bong‘s “Stoner Rock” ultimately comes off as somewhat boring but interestingly curious.