Pengo "Toadstools Amongst the Tombstones" QBICO
Pengo really do make my favourite kind of music, playful psychedelic music that pushes the boundaries of the genre with a sense of fun and an atmosphere of mystery.
For the completely uninitiated 'Toadstools Amongst the Tombstones' could serve as a primer on modern psych modes. Opening with some mbira led minimal rumblings the album moves through absurdist sound poetry, organic drone and ramshackle fingerpicking. It is a mixture of radio and live recordings.
Pengo's organic approach to music gives the whole record a ritualised feel. Pressed onto brown vinyl and adorned with pictures of toads and toadstools, it is easy to imagine weird creatures and magic spores swarming about the surface of the vinyl as it spins.
'The Day It Came Crawling' may be the albums heaviest moment, a squeaking sound of indeterminate source permeates the entire rtrack as metallic guitars congeal from spindly nothingness into a swirling shitstorm. Then it all drops out, people start screaming, faint applause is heard somewhere. It is easy to imagine that by this point in the evening audience/performer barrier is completely shattered.
This is the best thing I've heard from Pengo. Essential listening for anyone into the genuine weird shit. (9/10) (27 February, 2007)