Album Review

Tembo, Chrissy Zebby & Ngozi Family – “My Ancestors” – [Qdk Media]

Thurston Hunger   4/26/2013   CD, International

Wham bam thank you Zamrock (and Forced Exposure.) Originally
out in 1974 when barre chords ruled the rock and roll world
and guitar solos were always good to go, and even better to Ngozi.
Really dug Paul Ngozi’s fuzzed out fret flights on the
“45,000 Volts” reissue, and he’s as much the focus here as
drummer and vocalist Tembo. Allegedly this release was a
Ngozi alternate configuration to get Tembo some of the royalties
(ifffff you trust the internet). Tembo’s singing (all in English
by the way) is steady and often upbeat even when singing
lyrics that shout at the merchants of death. The best track,
“Coffin Maker” has Tembo finding something to keep him going
just in the ecstatic pursuit of rock, while said Coffin Maker
is surrounded by empty coffins. Fans of Crushed Butler, or
heck even confused Deep Sabbath / Black Purple peeps can
dig this.?? Reading around is funny how different reviewers cite
different bands, I think if you are of a certain vintage that
dates back to this album’s release whatever band you grew up
playing in the garage or basement, will connect to what you hear
here. And that includes “Gone Forever” as the slow dance send off,
Tembo not necessarily giddy, but atoned in the death of a paternal
figure. Ngozi gets burbly with the effects on that one. But he’s
best when the going gets rough and the distortion gets rougher,
“Trouble Maker” is the sweatiest cut. “My Ancestors” and “Lonely
Night” go with catchy pop melodies, and lots of interspersed
guitar work by Ngozi. “Oh Yeh Yeh” is an instro, riding a heavy
metal riff in a kinda Yardbirds-y way with Ngozi a la Beckola.
Ngozi, aka Paul Dobson Nyirongo RIP 1989.?? I’m not sure if Tembo
is alive to this day, I hope so. It’d be nice to hear his take on
this release and various things Ngozi.

-Thurston Hunger

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