Currently we have heard very little about Kongos on this side of the pond, but in America the story is almost the complete reverse. In the States, they have been pipped as the next big thing thanks to a number of high-profile singles and support slots. But their appeal is rooted in their South African upbringing, combining native African influences with US pop rock to create something very unique and at times, captivating to listen to. But will the UK be able to accept their unusual direction with open arms?
From the first listen, 'Lunatic' comes across as the bastard child of a huge number of other bands. They seem to sound like a cross between Fall Out Boy and Mumford & Sons, combining that cliche emo sound with a more folk-based instrumentation, which at times doesn't gel as well as it should. They seem like a band that want to rock your socks off but their modest production fails to deliver the full emphasis of their songwriting. Thankfully, some of the record does not fall in this trap as they find their pace with tracks like 'Escape' and 'As We Are'. Both are tracks that suit the band's overall style to a tee but are seldom seen on this record.
It is still a good listen overall and its flaws hardly put you off listening to it. But given the trend of where the UK's music scene is heading at the moment, I doubt there is room for a band like Kongos in amongst them.