The Austin Chronicle

Record Reviews

Reviewed by Greg Beets, November 24, 2000, Music

Zulu as Kono

II (Perverted Son)

The reckless, spiraling music of Zulu as Kono makes a fine soundtrack for an industrial age flailing about on the cold, hard concrete in its death throes. Though the two-drummer Austin sextet favors loud, prog-punk guitar foundations, their song structures consistently favor machines over melody. Witness "Perverted Son," a repetitive, hiccuping ruckus that utilizes Seventies-era synthesizer to create the aural sensation of an evil IBM mainframe gone haywire, spewing razor-edged punch cards pell-mell into the sky in its quest to usurp human autonomy. The tribal rhythm and jagged guitar of "Only Hate Can Make You Happy" work in tandem to create a melange of alienation ripe for brainwash, as evidenced by the glassy-eyed chanting of the title mid-song. Zulu as Kono doesn't have much room for vocals; most of the lyrics are either spoken or grunted in realistic, commode-straining fashion. Nevertheless, "Yoko as Ono" draws guffaws by rhyming Ono with Bono (as in Sonny) and Homo (as in Jacko). And "Wellflosh Kovitrice" rips a page from the Nick Cave songbook in its demented deconstruction of the Old World torch-song rubric. This is Zulu as Kono's second album, and it definitely goes much further than the first in capturing what the band is capable of, both sonically and stylistically. The prolonged deaths of eras rarely sound so good.


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