The Bongoloids, The Anaesthetic Revelation of Ray Bong (Independent)

The Bongoloids aren’t your average stoner rock band. They create a unique twist on the genre by adding psychedelic jazz, electronica, bluegrass, and funk elements to their music. Their new album, The Anaesthetic Revelation of Ray Bong, is full of enough buzzes and beeps to keep most stoners interested, while those sober might have a harder time wrapping their head around it. Instead of heavy, down-tuned guitars, the Bongoloids’ version of stoner rock relies on Ray Bong’s vast array of synthesizers and modified instruments/toys. The album opens with “It Doesn’t Matter What You Do,” one of the few tracks with vocals. It visits almost every genre as techno drums give way to classic rock organs followed by techno squalls.

Most of the tracks are in the same vein, until “I Know That You Love New Orleans.” The track uses excerpts of Ray Bong’s appearance as a caller on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. He corrected Limbaugh, who was asserting that things were getting back to normal in November, 2005, and here he samples the conservative commentator’s voice. If you found his voice annoying on the radio, it doesn’t help to put it against some low-fi techno either. The album’s final three tracks are the real standouts. Here the drums and instruments sound more natural and live. “Nitrous Cloud,” features a killer space jam that recalls some of Sonic Youth’s noisier moments over steady jazz beats. While the album is a bit scattershot, it might prove entertaining for those who, like Bong himself, want to expand their mind.