The Bongos: Drums Along The Hudson (1982)

A sadly overlooked album from the early college radio era, which holds up today as a stellar release from one of the more innovative 80s indie bands.  The Bongos are probably most comparable to the Feelies, sporting both the percussion-driven off-kilter vamps of Crazy Rhythms and the more early R.E.M.-ish jangly-guitar sound of the later The Good Earth (presumably not surprising given the two bands' Jersey roots).

Opening track "In The Congo" is a pulsating, nearly power-pop rave-up, a semi-New Wave classic, followed by the mellow, jangly "The Bulrushes," a one-two punch demonstrating the band's competing dynamics.  The rest of the album percolates along similar lines, with more eccentric tracks like "Video Eyes" jumbling elements of Devo and the B-52s, interspersed with more jangly, poppy fare like "Zebra Club."  Plus a nice take on T. Rex's "Mambo Sun" to boot.  The whole thing is a nice snapshot into the early 80s East Coast post-punk sound, which would sit comfortably alongside bands like Television and the dB's.

Here's the "Bulrushes" video:
...and a rough copy of the "In The Congo" video:
Here's a live take on "Zebra Club" from a recent gig:




Comments

  1. Thanks for your coverage and kind words!
    All my best ~ Richard Barone

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