Kung Pao


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Pushing slow, excruciating heaviness as far as they can, Kung Pao's debut LP, Bogota, instantly marks them as one of the better late-'90s sludge metal bands coming out of America. The fact that they recorded this album for a Minneapolis, MN-based indie label (Maduro) and are distributed by a Lincoln, NE-based indie label (-simist) isn't going to help them rise to national significance, but if you enjoy other lumber metal bands such as Clutch or Kyuss, then you'll probably enjoy this if you can track it down. Vocalist Chovie D's lyrics tend to be on the lighter side of life rather than the dark side, which makes this more fun than evil. Furthermore, the band's lighthearted approach even creeps into their music a bit, displacing aggression with amiable intensity. In the end, what matters the most is that this band packs a wallop with their bottom-heavy sound without having to act scary or have to play at fast tempos. In sum, a promising debut.

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