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Heads - King Dong Kong
MP3 EP 2014 | Silber 163
5 tracks, 5 minutes
: Press Release
: Digital Booklet
: Listen to the album on Bandcamp
Don of Donetsk
Square with a Little Bit Rectangle
Slow Kill Monotony
Can Can Heads let it all loose on the chaotic that is King Dong Kong. Everything is allowed to fall into disrepair. Rhythms barely hold themselves together. The horn skronk is particularly satisfying. Mixtures of punk, jazz, and noise flow together. Abrasiveness is an absolute must. King Dong Kong refuses to let up either. Energetic to the absolute end the closest Can Can Heads can get to an interlude are the two second intervals of “Gaffe” and “Effag”.
Sounding like they had been jamming for a while “Don of Donetsk” comes with full force. Poor saxophones sound badly tortured as does every other instrument. Guitars bleat their hearts out and drums blast their way through. With a different approach “Square with a Little Bit Rectangle” explores a minimal groove at first. The extremely tactile feel of the sound works wonders in helping them achieve their ends. Buildup in the song is hard to fully decipher yet it is there. For the song’s main purpose seems to be a constant increase of tension, a tension that finds its refuses on “Slow Kill Monotony”. Repetitive to its core “Slow Kill Monotony” lets the cyclical nature of the work collect pieces of dirt from its instruments. By far the collection’s highlight it works itself into a full out frenzy in the song’s latter half.
King Dong Kong is the sound of twisted sheets of metal trying their best to survive in a hostile environment.
~ Beach Sloth
Can Can Heads have had a great year. Not only have they released one of the most original and exciting albums of the year, with March’s Butter Life (their first album since 1999’s debut Headcracking Lifestyles), but they have now released a five track EP King Dong Kong. What’s striking about the EP is that in five minutes, these five tracks do more than most full length releases.
King Dong Kong is full of Can Can Heads’ distinctive shronk sound. The EP opens with a cacophony guitar and trumpet. It feels like there is an error and it’s started mid song, probably it has, but it’s on purpose. This carries on for just under a minute. The EP’s first track is Square with a Little Bit Rectangle. This track has a repetitive guitar riff and drum beat. Over that has been layed, what sounds like, an accordion and someone sawing wood. It works well and the guitar and drums help to build tension, and the other instruments stop it from getting boring and irritating. Last but not least is Slow Kill Monotany. This is the heaviest track on the album. There is real aggression and vigour on display here. There are chugging riffs, hard drums, backwards vocals and general unease. The track is a slow building menacing affair that builds and builds until it’s reaches maelstrom proportions, then abruptly stops.
Despite its length, there is a lot to engage with here. This is the kind of EP you will either play a couple of times and ponder it’s meaning, or just play on loop until someone tells you to turn it off.
~ This Year in Music
The Finnish no-wave jazz quintet of Can Can Heads were enlisted to take part in Silber’s 5 in 5 project, and “Square with a Little Bit of Rectangle,” the first single off King Dong Kong is one of the more unusual things I’ve heard in some time — comprised of skittering guitar, accordion, saxophones and forceful percussion the song manages to be incredibly funky while sounding like an old, sputtering car before quickly coming to an abrupt conclusion.
~ William Ruben Helms, The Joy of Violent Movement
Finnish ensemble CAN CAN HEADS has been an ongoing and obscure feature of their native rock scene in Finland for more than 20 years, with a long list of releases on cassette, CD-R, vinyl LP and just about any format you can get at over the years through a plethora of different labels. “King Dong Kong” was released by US label Silber Records towards the end of 2014 as a part of their ongoing 5-in-5 conceptual range of EPs, where the concept is to create a 5 minute long EP with a total of 5 compositions.
Can Can Heads have chosen to take on this task by creating three tracks, and separating them with two very brief fillers. The main tracks consist of a hammering guitar and saxophone creation, opening wildly and going towards silence, in a kind of proto-punk meets Hawkwind and a truckload of acid kind of way, the second has more of a Victorian era industrial rock feel about it – listen to it and you’ll understand – a fitting sound snippet for a steampunk movie in my book. They conclude this EP with another proto-punk oriented affair, again invoking associations towards early 70’s Hawkwind at their most intense, again with a feel that a lot more acid may have been at hand than Hawkwind ever managed to indulge in.
The 5 minutes of music here is rough, lo-fi and fairly intense, and appears to be escapades that should appeal to those equally fond of primal punk made on a DIY approach and early 70’s Hawkwind. I would guess that being in a state of expanded consciousness perhaps might make the total experience more worthwhile as well.
~ Olav Martin Bjørnsen, House of Prog
Now were we the types of reviewers to hold grudges we’d have passed up on the can can heads selection like a shot not least because we spent and lavished so much time, care and affection on their album ‘butter life’ that we rather hoped the blighters might send a copy as compensation – sorry scratch that – reward. Good job we here then are made of sterner stuff and have knives at the ready to sharpen poison pens in revenge. Of course we joke. Can Can Heads are for those previously unfamiliar a collective hailing from Finland who do no wave skronk the type of which might even have those dudes over at foolproof projects exchanging envious glances, previous encounters have impressed so much that we’ve been heard on occasion to liken the experience to that encountered when we had the joy of inside of a butcher shop doing bad things on our hi-fi – this 5 track set ‘king dong kong’ be its name is no exception – a rapid fire skewed and obtuse assault to the senses, barking, deranged and just totally out of it. Opening ‘don of donetsk’ has its hand tightly gripped around your throat before you’ve scarcely had a chance to get comfortable coming on as it does like a rabid James Chance with a particularly fiercely freaked Contortions at his side. ‘Gaffe’ is so brief its over before its begun whilst ‘square with a little bit rectangle’ squares up a little less manic preferring instead to mooch around to a kind of Residents styled Dadaist motif before the fracturing ‘slow kill monotony’ is about you up close and personal draped in pure alienated psychosis hulking behind it some seriously blanked out play with your headspace no wave disfiguring.
~ Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience