Leave it to Jason Forrest's Cock Rock Disco label to release a pop album so delirious and deconstructed as Bongo by one-man band About. Despite cover art that seems to obscure the faces of several different people, this is the work of one Rutger Hoedemaekers, and like many youths of this day and age, he seems to have developed some sort of attention deficit disorder.
As is par for the course on Cock Rock Disco, just about anything goes, and Bongo plays out like little bits of Top 40 from the past 20 years all chopped up with a ginsu and re-arranged into a concise and hilarious thirteen track, thirty minute disc of bubblegum pop with a glitched-out edge. "Think Niles Drink" opens the disc with fuzzy guitar riffs that blast out and cut to complete silence while Hoedemaekers adds some scatterbrained crooner vocals over it all. "Strike You As The Enemy" is even more fun, chopping up guitar riffs over handclaps and thumping beats while lyrics burst out in stream-of-consciousness weirdness that touch on everything from bodily functions to government regimes.
With songs clocking in at under three minutes apiece, one would be correct in assuming that nothing sticks around for long. "Furry Dice (Dangling From The Guitar)" is a pitch-bent splatterfest of guitars and warbling synths that goes absolutely nowhere, but it's over fairly quickly and then the album is onto another speedy pop workout. In places, the shorter tracks actually feel like they should go on longer, and when "Give It A Rest" ends after only a minute, it feels more like frustration or an incomplete idea.
The diversions into noise and random glitch freakouts are the biggest downfall of the album, and it's a bit unfortunate given the success of several tracks on the album. When he's on, Hoedemaekers creates frantic, leftfield electronic pop (like the album-ender sweetness of "Stack Of Marshalls") that rivals the work of the playful cut-up Max Tundra, but all the random filler tracks (like the stuttering, meaningless "Boo (Hoo)") feel more like they're only included to pad the release into more of an album length rather than adding anything of substance. With some editing, Bongo could have been a killer EP, but as it stands, it's a bit of a hit or miss effort.