1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Archive for the tag “Kobus!”

Hoenderman – Kobus!

Kobus! – Kobus!

Kobus! – Kobus!

The word quirky sometimes comes to mind when I think of Kobus!. But not the sort of clean cut quirky of bands like Devo or early Talking Heads. Neither is it the obscure rock quirkiness of people like Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart. There is a sort of sinister quirkiness to Kobus! They sit on the darker side of the quirky spectrum. Just have a look at the video for ‘Hoenderman’ (see below) and you will surely come away a little disturbed.

Not only are the images in the video a little nightmarish at times (although interspersed with girls dancing in various environments which reminds one of The Spice Girls’ video for ‘Say You’ll Be There’) but the different vocals also unsettle one. A sort of witchy voice has a conversation with the rough growl of a voice that has escaped from a Slipknot track and occasionally a goth growl also has a look in on this strange tale of an encounter with die hoenderman, a devilish character.

And then there’s the frenzied clucking of chickens against thudding industrial beats that pops into the song every now and then. One is not sure whether to laugh, cry or run away. ‘Hoederman’ does have a kind of car crash attraction to it. You know you shouldn’t stare, but you can’t help yourself slowing down to look. It’s bizarre, weird, enticing, scary and exciting all in one. There was nothing like it before and there has been nothing like it since.

The song made it to number 2 on the SA Rockdigest charts and spent a record 30 weeks on those charts. The album from which it came, simply entitled ‘Kobus!, made it to the top of the SA Rockdigest charts and was only beaten by Moodphase 5ive’s ‘Steady On’ for weeks on the charts (46 compared to 54). Listen to ‘Hoederman’ if you dare, it’s a song for those who are not chicken.

Where to find it:
Kobus! – Kobus! (2002), ENT Entertainment, CDENT001

Video:

Sondagmiddag – Kobus!

Kobus! - Kobus!

Kobus! – Kobus!

A few years after the Springbok Nude Girls split for the first time, the band’s guitarist Theo Crous hooked up with Voice of Destruction’s Francois Breyenbach and formed a band called Kobus! (or sometimes K.O.B.U.S.!). Their debut album ‘Kobus!’ opened with the track ‘Wie Is Kobus!’ which fades out with the question ‘Wie is Kobus!’ being asked over and over again in a whispered, slightly menacing way. And many of us did ask that question because there was something weird yet strangely alluring about what one was hearing.

But those who knew who made up the band would have perhaps been a bit puzzled by the sound because it was neither the Slipknot-ish metal of Voice of Destruction nor the grungy sounds of that we knew and loved from the Nude Girls. This is far more relaxed music and with a title like ‘Sondagmiddag’ (Sunday Afternoon), the 4th track from their debut album, was bound to be laid back. While very different sounding, it sort of captures the same sentiments that Quentin E. Klopjaeger’s ‘Lazy Life’ does, staring with a gentle guitar over the sounds of a family sitting around in the back yard enjoying a braai. It’s relaxed and there is an Ultravox-esque synth sound sailing gently by.

But why would fans of of the Springbok Nude Girls and Voice Of Destruction go for this kind of music. Well, I am not sure that the latter would really like this, but Nude Girl fans would recognise the same feeling in this as there is in some of the quieter moments of the Nude Girl’s songs. Perhaps the most attractive thing for those fans is the half whispered vocals which give the song a slightly disturbing edge. ‘Lazy Life’ was a simple pop tune but, if one wanted to, one could almost imagine that this braai that Kobus! sings about is behind held at Hannibal Lecter’s house but the other guest don’t know what has been used to make the wors.

‘Kobus!’ certainly introduced us to a new sound which had some scratching their heads, some getting it and some just enjoying it. So lay back and enjoy a relaxed ‘Sondagmiddag’, but careful what you eat.

Where to find it:
Kobus! – Kobus! (2002), ENT Entertainment, CDENT001

Video:

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: