Egomaniac



Alt-rockers channel their African heritage into radio-ready rock.

The four sons of white South African Sixties rocker John Kongos were born overseas but came of age in Phoenix, and their mix of pan-African instrumental styles with familiar first-pumping rock feels both cosmopolitan and disorienting. Johnny’s accordion wheezes in the tradition of the South African jive that inspired Paul Simon’s Graceland, Jesse’s guitar traces intricate bluesy West African curlicues, Daniel pounds like the Burundi drummers who once influenced Adam Ant, and Dylan’s ghostly slide guitar hints at Americana. On the lead single, “Take It From Me,” a chanted chorus syncs up with a four-note drum punch, recalling the radio-ready assurance of their 2014 breakthrough “Come With Me Now.” But the Kongos get weirder and more interesting when they’re not aiming for a hit, whether flailing about with confused ambition on “Where I Belong” (“I want to influence an age group/ Maybe 15 to 22”) or surrendering their free will to internet domination on “Autocorrect.” 



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