Preview: Tong Po’s debut full-length fights dirty

A taste of Quad Cities hardcore fury just for you.

In the 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme classic, Kickboxer, Tong Po is the antagonist, a Thai fighter who does brutal combat without regard for rules, mercy, or hollow symbols of victory. His namesake is a band that similarly drives headlong into battle with crusty intensity, battering you from all sides while landing some killer hooks. The good news is, Tong Po the band probably won’t murder your brother to get you motivated. Probably.

In my experience, Metro, who plays bass and sings, Jason, who plays guitar and also sings, and Shawn, who drums, are all a lot nicer than that. I don’t think I’ve met Seth, who more recently joined on second guitar, but I’m betting he would give JCVD a warm handshake rather than kicking him into a crowd.

Now, Tong Po hail from the Quad Cities. For those of you who have limited familiarity with the Midwest, that’s a region of Northwest Illinois and Southeastern Iowa that includes Moline and Rock Island on the one side, Davenport and Bettendorf on the other. It’s a pleasant place to visit, with a history of coming back from economic adversity. For some context, here’s a picture of my own band at a Juneteenth festival petting zoo in Davenport immediately after trying out some local beers:
pettingzoo

That said, Bettendorf is not necessarily the easiest place to get noticed when you’re bringing the metallic hardcore fury on the regular. So now it’s time to expose Tong Po to a wider audience. Their debut full-length, set to be released on April 20th (which takes care of setting your celebratory plans), was recorded at Flat Black Studios in Iowa City with Luke Tweedy, best known for his work with William Elliot Whitmore. It sounds appropriately badass, full of crushing drums, headbanging riffs, and infectious dual vocal interplay.

tongpocover

Below, you can check out two songs: “Warring Factions” and “Power Games.”  Give them a listen, and, if you dig what these guys are doing, put in a pre-order on Tong Po’s Bandcamp page.

Written by:

Published on: March 23, 2016

Filled Under: Metal, New Music Premier

Views: 1186

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  • Good stuff. Reminds me a bit of Full Blown Chaos.

  • Dubs

    I love Bloodsport more than most things.

    • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

      that movie>>>>>>>>>>

      • Dubs

        There maaaaaaay be an article in pending specifically about that film. And that article may have been written before this post.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Aaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnd you wrote it.

          • Ay, you might dig this. Features members from Deathhammer, Nekromantheon and Condor. Sick speed metal!!!

            https://blackvipermetal.bandcamp.com/releases

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Listening now and yep. Good shit.

          • Killer! Second new band from Oslo I found today.

          • Rob M

            Sold!

          • Dubs

            perhaps.

        • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

          looking forward to it. are you going to be going thru all the Van Damme classics?

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Now there’s an idea!

          • Dubs

            Joe and I have actually discussed that.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            Crossing my fingers for Hard Target

          • Rob M

            Im a sucker for that one…and Timecop was more enjoyable than it had a right to be

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            any Van Damme is good Van Damme, but Hard Target also gives us Wilford Brimley

          • Dubs

            I prefer villainous Wilford Brimley a la The Firm.

          • Rob M

            Cajun Wilford Brimley

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            man im not big on mustaches but he had a great one

          • Triple feature of Blood Sport, Kickboxer, and The Quest. They’re all the same goddamn movie.

          • Rob M

            Implying there are Van Damme movies that arent the same movie?

          • Dubs

            Street Fighter is a little different.

          • jinx

          • Dubs

            pinch poke you owe me a coke

          • Two words brah… Street. Fighter. It’s totally NOT about an obscure fighting tournament.

          • Rob M

            Which is kinda ironic given the source material

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            JCVD was kind of a strange but pretty solid JC movie. He was also a surprisingly good actor in it.

          • Rob M

            Ive heard that, though I havent seen the movie.

            Im mostly joking about Van Damme, I grew up with those kind of movies and loved every minute of it

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            Universal Soldier

          • Kickboxer has soooo much downtime in it 🙁 But the dance makes up for that!

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            Ahahaa, it’s alright

    • Stanley

      Carter USM. Bloodsport For All. College Days.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBQykwk5BUM

  • That photo is gold. Definitely deserves a caption. The family behind them is definitly thinking some shit about them white boys.

  • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

    this coulda been a joe mashnpeel article. not for me

  • Goats!

  • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

    Thanks Jason! These guys get bonus points for the name, I will give them a listen when I get the chance.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    Digging this, look forward to the hearing the whole thing. Speaking of Rock Island, I had to travel there for a HS football game once, which was horribly inconvenient distance-wise from my hometown.

  • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

    Look Jack Bauer, a preorder you can wishlist.

  • Salvador Dalí Lama

    Mr. Sulu, fire the Po Tong torpedoes!

    • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

      Hahaha, I can hear Sulu now!

  • Dubs

    bruising

  • COAL ROLL

    strike two today on the fuzz tones

    • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

      is t three strikes youre out?

      • COAL ROLL

        one more and “this group is garbage, im out”

        • Boss the “Hoss” Ross
          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            if you ask me, this guy is just being efficient

          • Pretty sure this dude is on crack. Very efficient.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            especially for a crackhead

          • more beer

            My money is on meth. If it was crack he would be too busy chasing the next hit to be at work.

          • Good point. Should have just had a beer and forgot about it.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            man i could go for a nice cold beer, its hotter than the devils ass crack down here

          • more beer

            It is snowing here. Gonna stay in and get blazed all day.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            73F in AVL

          • Damn, nice. It’s getting warmer here too. Making the bike rides back and forth more enjoyable.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            its a royal pain in my ass! DEATH TO THE SUN

          • Hahahaha.

          • more beer

            Or smoked some herb.

          • more beer

            I’m pretty sure that’s a federal offense.

          • It is. Yup.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            what if mailmanbro had brought him something good in there!?

          • Bro!

          • more beer

            It would have been mail theft since that probably isn’t his house.

          • Yeah, this dude got fucked big time by the law dog.

          • more beer

            Rightfully so. Don’t be a complete idiot and the law leaves you alone.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            DON’T PLAY LIKE THAT

          • more beer

            I have a blonde chick with sleeves who brings my mail.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            noicceeeee. mines a fat guy who drives a beat up van

          • I have an Amish woman that delivers mail on Saturdays to my place. It’s a mindfuck.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            rural carriers run the gamut man

          • COAL ROLL

            in the buggy with the orange triangle on the back?

          • Nah man, she dresses the part and drives a mini-van.

          • COAL ROLL

            how can you even know that she’s really amish then? is she one of those Ishmael Boorg Amish?

          • Dude, I live in Amish cuntry. She’s definitely Amish. Talks it too.

          • COAL ROLL

            I’m not disputing that. My family is from Lock Haven area. The ones we knew there that lived down by Fishing Crick were pretty devout.

          • Ah, nice. Lock Haven is like 40 minutes from where I’m at.

          • more beer

            Is that allowed? I have been through Amish Country. I remember getting stuck behind those horse and buggies.

          • Oh yeah, there is like different tiers of Amish or some shit. Some are Mennonites. I guess those ones can use electricity.

          • more beer

            You learn something everyday. I always just thought they all lived like Little House on the Prairie.

          • Most of them do.

          • more beer

            Either way. To me it’s just another cult. But now I know. Some can drive.

          • Yup! Same goes with construction machines too.

          • more beer

            I have operated a lot of different equipment in my life. I must say it is actually pretty fun. So i understand them being willing to do that.

          • Hell yes, I operated a CAT backhoe once. That was fun as hell.

          • more beer

            I worked on golf courses for 10 years. Plus did big time commercial irrigation. There weren’t too many things I didn’t get to operate between the 2. But both of those are really hard work. I like what I do now because I am still in that type of an environment but the work is easier.

          • more beer

            I think I prefer mine.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Mine looks like Steven Stills with a skullet.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Dress slacks,Timberlands and a wife beater should be too.

          • more beer

            I think that should just be handled by the local authorities.

          • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

            Good point let the local boys sort that shit out!

          • more beer

            Yea let them handle their local wife beating child haters. The feds have other things to do. Like continue a failed war on drugs.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Aren’t they one in the same (Pigs/Wife-beating Child Haters)?!

          • COAL ROLL

            it’s hilarious that you three are commenting on this joke that was inspired by something that happened in the FB group

          • Bro, you’re hilarious bro.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            BROOOOOOOOO

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    Not big on hardcore, but this is good! Another excellent article from my Northside brethren!

  • Guppusmaximus

    Didn’t Sugar Ray start out the same?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAPpwimES1Q

  • Lacertilian

    Great name and good fun.
    Cheers Dr Kolk!