(Neptune) Silly me, I thought our little hamlet was going to be blessed with a visit from the Congos, the legendary reggae group responsible for some of the most glorious vocal harmonies ever put to record. Alas, Kongos are in fact a very different outfit, a young alternative-rock act hailing from Phoenix-via-South Africa with only one album to their name. Their sound vacillates wildly between mawkish late-’90s post-grunge, lite-psych balladry, and guitar-hero showmanship, with the occasional welcome Afropop flourish (more accordions, please!). The slower songs sometimes achieve a minor Bends-ian majesty; the "rock ain't dead!" rave-ups feel sadly dated. Are they the South African Coldplay? As for the Congos, I'll rhapsodize about them more when the time comes. KYLE FLECK
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