Kongos get adventurous in new three part series

Album Review Review
7.2

ICM Rating

South African-born alt-rockers Kongos have completely spiced up their sound on their latest studio album 1929, Part 1.

Combining a variety of European sounds and instruments, the impressive LP that is packed with the same kind of catchy lyrics, complex melodies and top-notch musicianship that listeners would expect from one of the fastest growing alternative rock bands in the world.

The brothers —Johnny (accordion, keyboards, vocals), Jesse (drums, percussion, vocals), Dylan (bass, guitar, vocals) and Danny Kongos (guitar, vocals) — have music in their blood. Their South African/British father, John Kongos, landed multiple chart hits in the seventies, and the boys picked up instruments at a young age. Now, they’re continuing that musical legacy.

1929, Part 1 kicks off with ‘Something New’, which starts with an 80s techno beat that’s filled with lyrical prowess, melodic complexity and a visceral musicality. 1929, Part 1 is the result of a major creative undertaking. As the title somewhat implies, it will be the first of three albums to be released by the band in 2019.

From this venture, songs like ‘Pay For The Weekend’ emerge, a track that encompasses the album’s themes fully.

As Jesse Kongos explains: “It’s about the up and the down and how they can’t exist without each other. There’s nothing like coming down from a big weekend to remind you that maybe today or maybe sometime down the line, the effect of every cause will eventually play out and start the cycle all over again.”

Other songs like ‘Something New’, ‘I Am Not Me’ and ‘Keep Your Head’ showcase the band’s energy and are sure to be fan favourites. The complete transformation of Kongos is totally new and extremely refreshing. The synths and jazz are a bold step forward, and I think it might have paid off.

Good

  • Experimental
  • Unique sound

Bad

  • Loses momentum after the halfway mark

Summary

1929, Part 1 is the result of a major creative undertaking. As the title somewhat implies, it will be the first of three albums to be released by the band in 2019.
7.2

ICM Rating