Bongripper (USA) – “Hippie Killer”

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The Windy City is known for so many different things. Well, you can now add BONGRIPPER to the list. How could it be that such a band managed to stay under the radar for so long??!! (is there a label strike going on or what?). At first, I thought I was in for some typical sludge that was going to be saturated with some weed-related samples. I was so far from the truth!

Even though these guys seem to love puerile humor, believe me: they don’t mess around with their music. This inspired 10 song self-released album is so eclectic it is actually hard for me to compare them to anyone in particular.

First of all, it’s an (almost) all-instrumental band…which is a good thing as it gives you time to digest and ponder over these annihilating riffs. “Reefer Sutherland” might mislead you into thinking BONGRIPPER’s music is heavily infused with death metal riffs…well…no. It’s just a one-off. Most songs, except maybe “Terrible Bear Attack”, which is a nice cross-over between hardcore and early black metal), are tight as hell are a  mix of dissonant (love the harmonics and the harmonized guitars) and punishing sludge with the occasional groovy passages a la Earthless (“The People Mover”). Then, when you reach “Charlie, Burt Reynolds has got Shit on you”, you might wonder if you accidentally put on one of your dusty Isis album. As I said this band, although they have a strong sense of integrity, are also all over the place but in a good way. I really just can’t pinpoint any bands that would sound alike…

To sum it up. Bongripper’s recipe is an ingenious mix of sludgy (border-line post metal) efficient power chord riffs, supported by a snappy snare which contrasts with some superb melodic bass lines. The guitars manage to oscillate between spacey arpeggios and section of layered chorus. For those who are hard to please, the length of the album might just be too much and the only relatively negative point -there is only one- might be that the songs are sometimes too linear. Besides that, BONGRIPPER is just very intense!

I am now left with a dream of an ultimate face-off between the boy on Hermano’s “Dare I say…” cover art and BONGRIPPER’s…I’d put a $100 on the latter. Poor little kid would stand no chance against that shotgun!

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~ by nodusgordis on November 19, 2009.

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