Now you would think that naming your album after a country that lost 9-0 to Yugoslavia in the 1974 World Cup is a bit of a dodo, but here is a band that has put the bongo into the Congo. Not that this band hail from Central Africa but, in fact, from the Black Country of the Midlands, but Soley Mourning have got themselves a uniquely universal sound on this, their third album, where the band have matured into a highly professional sounding act.
Most probably, just like myself, you've never heard of Soley Mourning before. The band caught my attention a couple of months back when I was invited down to see them on a three-band bill at London's Purple Turtle in Camden, and it has to be said they blew away the other bands that night despite going onstage at an early time.
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This five-piece have a powerful sound that mixes the melodic commerciality of late eighties rock with the onset of early grunge, plus powerful riffs borrowed from Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine. On top of that, listening to this album it's hard to believe that the vocals are coming from a white man, because Mat Partridge has a powerful range that, with the occasional funkiness on this album, reminds me of Living Colour's Cory Glover.
Soley Mourning have made a heavy pounding album that has a freshness about it that is clearly above the rest of many other new bands out there. An album that features heavy and light moments of crunching riffs, thumping drums and solid funky bass lines.
Without a doubt, one of the best releases I've heard this year that requires repeated listening, simply because it is so good. Yes, with 'Zaire', this is a band that congos all the way.