Indie and punk are two of the most brash, exciting genres around in music, but not often are the two mixed together – this is why KONG are gaining a reputation as one of the hottest new bands emerging at present, with their initiative to blend both together.
Who are KONG?
A collection of four lads from Sheffield, which is a stable of the British music scene. At the time of writing, the group is made up of Conor Lindsey, Liam Dawson, Niall Dawson and Henry Sansom.
Since 2014, and in just two short years they have become a well known name both around Sheffield and the rest of South Yorkshire as well.
What has been their biggest career highlight to date?
Last year (2015), KONG were named the Best Unsigned Band in Sheffield, by Exposed Magazine. They, according to their Facebook page, have also received critical acclaim on the two EPs they have released to this date – including 8 Ball Pool – and have sold out famous Sheffield venues including The Leadmill, The Plug and 02 Academy.
8 Ball Pool Review!
First track 8 Ball Pool packs a strong punch and provides a gritty and sharp opening to the EP. Although the song is not the most spectacular opening track I’ve heard from a punk/indie band before, I commend their storytelling mechanism which sets the scene for the song and, as no surprise from its title, is based on a game of pool happening in the pub. Sheffield is home to The Crucible, a famous pool and snooker venue, so it is sweet that KONG have a song paying homage to one of the most famous foundations of their city.
The punk side of the band emerges more prominently in their second track, with a grungy, brooding bassline running throughout the song. The striking nature of the chorus for Naughty Devils and Dirty Priests, comprising of ‘oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, naughty devils and the dirty priests’ doesn’t over complicate itself; it is memorable and perfect for crowd singalongs during gigs.
Third track Lime Green Tambourine encompasses a dark and melodic instrumental with vocals gradually increasing in a rouse of annoyance and frustration, matching the story of an unfortunate chap who in time discovers that the lady who he has his eye on has a boyfriend, and who is clearly the wrong guy to fight over a girl, with him being 6”3! The punk and grunge inspirations continue with an leading guitar part clearly reminiscent of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, and it is a worthy and valuable risk gaining comparison to perhaps the most famous grunge band of all time, but the nod to their music pays off to a certain extent!
I would be a Hypocrite if I stated that this was the perfect song that KONG could have used as the finale track to close their EP, but nonetheless it is another scuzzy, gritty track which matches neatly with the rest of the indie/punk sound the group are demonstrating on their release, and I like that it does not head off in a completely different direction from the other songs featured.
All in all, 8 Ball Pool is neither ground-breaking or shattering the boundaries of either the indie or punk genres (with such an assortment of bands all releasing within these genres at present), but KONG show signs of promise with excellent lyricism portraying abilities and slick, grungy instumental sections, and I am looking forward to seeing the progression of the band when they release their next single/EP!
The track-listing for the EP is as follows:
- 8 Ball Pool
- Naughty Devils and Dirty Priests
- Lime Green Tambourine
If you wish to follow KONG more, and find out more about their upcoming gigs and newest music releases, a link to their Facebook page is below: