Bonjah – Go Go Chaos (Shock) CD REVIEW

BONJAH, APPARENTLY, have the distinction of having originated in Tauranga, before hauling their asses to Australia. Go Go Chaos is their second album, and it does have a certain charm.
I can see why the Aussies might like them better than we do: they’re clearly looking to harness the shamanic, faux messianic powers of The Doors (or at least Ian Astbury), Bono (or at least Jim Kerr) and Jeff Buckley (or at least Chris Martin). In a word, singer Glenn Mossop seems to be looking for redemption, which reminds me: there’s also more than a touch of the rebel-rousing of Bob and his Wailers.
If all of the above is true, however, you’d expect Go Go Chaos to be a real rock record, and it’s not. Bonjah have given it a really odd sound. It’s like the top-end has been shaved off the sound spectrum, leaving a beautiful, mellow picture but one that’s devoid of the normal rock clichés like screaming guitar and big bang drums. It’s like they have applied dub principles to a rock album that also has a bit of folk balladry on the side.
Bonjah seem to understand the nature of the groove, and that’s appealing. They’ve obviously listened to a lot of Zeppelin, so it’s even more bizarre that they haven’t gone and hired a heavy hitting drummer to do the Bonzo thing. Or perhaps it’s the underrated funk of INXS that they aspire to? Who knows, but Go Go Chaos is just different enough to make it an appealing listen, if not something that’s strong enough to make it one of the best of the year, or anything like that. GARY STEEL
Music = 3.5/5
Sound = 4/5

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