Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bong | Toe Hammer | Sunday Mourning - Buffalo Bar, London, 13 October 2010

Serendipity. I am working late in the office. There are only a few people still here. I decide to listen to some music. A random urge takes me to Bong's Myspace page. As I listen to a couple of songs I notice their upcoming gig dates. They're playing tonight. About 20 minutes away. Work can wait.

I like a weak pun so I'm feeling well disposed towards Sunday Mourning before they even start playing. They're a depressive doom duo and as cheery as they sound. The guitarist is playing an acoustic guitar, but run through some effects pedals to produce a suitably Stygian black sound. The drummer beats a simple tattoo. Low guttural death moans rise and fall out of the mix. The acoustic guitar lends a different tone to their downtuned sound. I close my eyes and focus.

At first I'm underwhelmed by Toe Hammer. They seem to be proficient, uninspired, punk-tinged blues. Their drummer sweats in some unusual places. In two distinct spots I guess where his nipples are, and on the tops of his shoulders. However, as their set wears on they begin to thaw me. ZZ Top may have nailed this genre down 30 years ago, but Toe Hammer have got something about them.

And now I await the narcoleptic majesty of Bong. The congregation are hushed in reverent worship of the drone lords. There's no sitar player tonight, so this set is based on tar thick black guitar sounds. Solid obsidian masses of lava paced riff-age. The sound is like someone has plugged a ley line into an amplifier and the vocals are like the incantations of ancient Druids.

Thick white smoke begins to belch from the guitarists amp. It has expired in the face of the relentless drone. He abandons his guitar and walks off. The rest of Bong drone on to the end of the song and then follow.
Preferred drink: San Miguel

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