Local Record Review: 'Captured American Flag Displayed Upside Down' by Kabong

Categories: Beat Blvd.
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Kabong
Captured American Flag Displayed Upside Down
Wild Warthog


Call it Orange County's history of not-quite-mainstream when it comes to politics, call it a release perfectly timed for the moment given Occupy Wall Street is happening, call it a mixture of anti-authoritarian impulses over the past ten years. And more besides, since Kabong's Captured American Flag Displayed Upside Down is that kind of everything-and-anything right down to the cover art. There's a copy of the Constitution going into a shredder on the back, under two paragraphs about the invasion of Iraq, another inside panel discusses 9-11 Trutherism in detail, under the disc itself is art talking about protecting whales from Navy sonar testing. If it were all wrapped around a cake of Dr. Bronner soap instead, nobody would bat an eye (even if those guys are San Diego-based instead of OC).

Still, a couple of moments aside -- the brief collage of "So America's Bravest Kids Would Volunteer to Fight Your Wars" and the extended album ender "Mission Accomplished," with a slew of statements from our previous president over a looped demi-industrial rhythm that shifts to a moody classic-rock noodle --  this isn't Public Enemy cranking up the sonic instability here, or even fellow local homeboys Rage Against the Machine completely ripping into things. Captured American Flag Displayed Upside Down is its own mix and match but in a generally straightforward enough rock way where sometimes the various messages the cover art expounds upon come clear and at other points are just there.

If anything, more than a few moments seem like they would be fun enough no matter what the context or lyrical focus, as with "Call of the Wild," in its own boogie/modern country stomp way, or "Not Going Home" pumping up a bit of U2-styled anthemicism. Meanwhile there's a brief interview snippet with George Carlin and an extended one with an engineer going full-on into 9-11 theories about being an inside job so at times it seems less like an album and more like a collage of impulses and influences, not always the ones you expect to run into.
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