Los Angeles-based hybrid rock artist Squanky Kong will release a brand-new album, Dawn of the Cataclysm, on October 15.
Talking about the album, Squanky Kong says, “Despite what some might think, the album title ‘Dawn of the Cataclysm’ originated in 2019 before the pandemic started. Topics such as climate change, plastic pollution, war, corruption, and artificial intelligence were inspirations for the album concept as a whole.”
He goes on to add, “This album was produced similar to the way a movie is made. There were various performances recorded for each part, sometimes with more than one musician. Then each song is meticulously edited together with special attention placed on creating an organic feel to the music.”
The musical brainchild of James Michael House, Squanky Kong’s sound blends elements of rock, metal, funk, blues, jazz, classical, and other stylistic influences. A group of outstanding artists appears on the album, including James Michael House (guitar, six-string bass, synthesizer), Lamar Little (drums), Leah Martin-Brown (vocals), Brad Schecter (vocals), and DEROSNEC (vocals).
Initiated around 1994, since 2005, Squanky Kong has released two studio albums and one EP.
Encompassing eight tracks, highlights on the album include “Know End Insight,” opening on dazzling layers of platinum guitars rolling into a driving rhythm topped by swashbuckling colors. Kong’s evocative voice imbues the lyrics with tight textures.
A personal favorite, “The Gadget,” features dark, growling guitars thrumming with Tool-like flavors riding a Jovian, rumbling rhythm. Kong’s vocals give the lyrics searing inflections. A gently gleaming breakdown precedes a guitar solo of incandescent licks.
“War by Proxy” travels on a galloping rhythm topped by snarling, stuttering guitars as Kong’s voice assumes deep, gravelly tones. “Traitors in the Midst” slows things down a bit, blending alt-rock veneers with hints of heavy prog-rock.
The ultimate track, “We Make the World,” merges reggae-rock savors with alt-rock, forming a gleaming, potent wash of harmonics, at once melodic and flavored with delicious falsetto vocals.
Dawn of the Cataclysm is excellent, delivering tangs of hard rock, touches of prog-rock, and tough, aggressive guitars.