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Album Review: Bobby Funk – Longing For The Bonging
Longing For The Bonging - TNS Records
Cornish quartet Bobby Funk are releasing their first album proper since signing to TNSRecords back in 2018, following up on that year’s ‘Avocado Stains’ EP. Recorded back in January, ‘Longing For The Bonging’ actually drops on 6th June. “In an odd way, after the last few weeks I feel the album name has taken on a new meaning for me,” explains vocalist Ollie Meyrick. “I find myself ‘Longing For The Bonging’ of a simpler time, where the uncertainty of Brexit rather than a global pandemic hung over our heads. At least we could still go to gigs…”
The 20 minute journey through Bobby Funk’s world creeps in on a lurching riff, then ruptures into the agile, angular (new single) ‘Dunch’. The instruments are crisp, and the lyrics are delivered with punch and humour. Kicking in without pause, the spiralling surf-style riffage of ‘I’m A Cat’ is next. Carried along by a buoyant beat, broken chords and bellowing, it’s beautifully bizarre and will have you meowing along. ‘Put Your Hands On The Car’ is almost an intermission, before it’s back to the songs ‘proper’ with ‘K Grind’. A reworking of an early track, it’s all skate speed and barked vocals – the clearest, and darkest, howls borrow from ‘the Snowman’: “I’m walking in the air..” and the entwined pursuits of skateboarding and ketamine: “I’m in so much fucking pain.”
The band continues to trample lines between straight-ahead, snotty tunes and atypical approaches. ‘Breakfast Means Breakfast’ is an impish analogy for the Great British mindset towards the Great European divorce, full of distinctive wordplay: “If it’s Continental, I’ll go silly mental,” and ‘Best Friends with Kanye’ is a thrash and jerk plea: “Take me to Maccie D’s!” After the bouncy, discordant singalong of ‘Onion Eyes’, the album takes a more expansive and inimitable turn. ‘Povvo Goblin’ rattles along, harnessing a jubilant Gypsy-Ska vibe that finally breaks out in triumphant horns, while the class war between fictional goblins plays out lyrically. Closing track ‘Gammon Club’ sets out as a gobby critique of British culture “The tabloids are Gospel truth,” preaches ‘Wetherspoons Terry’ over a breakneck chug. Then it inexplicably (and seamlessly) morphs into a warped Caribbean ‘Oi!’ outro; replete with playful brass blasts, flashy guitar trills and actual samba band backing. It’s irresistibly idiosyncratic, and will leave you grinning like an idiot.
Like swift, snarling punk with an eccentric edge? ‘Longing For The Bonging’ is available on limited hot pink 12” vinyl, CD and digital formats through TNSRecords. Bobby Funk has Facebook and Instagram pages.