Bonehouse – Summer 2012 Demo
Bonehouse are a four-piece DIY emo/punk/indie band of fine pedigree from Dundee, featuring past and present members of bands such as The Fall Of Boss Koala, From The Tracks, Archives, Fair Do’s and many more. They’ve been together for just under two years and this is their second release, after last year’s Demo July 11. Bonehouse are, however, something more than the some of their parts.
The first demo was great and saw the band finding their sound. It’s follow up sees the band coming into their own and is a natural progression sonically and songwriting wise. Everything that was great about the first demo; frantic drums, razor-sharp yet delicate guitars, the gang-chants, poetic lyricism, layered vocals; are all present and correct, but all seem “bigger”. This is a very good thing indeed.
“The Bonehouse Summer Jam” kicks things off in haze of fuzzy guitars and punk rock drums before blasting into a frantic verse. Lead vocalist Dave seems more audible than on the first record but his impassioned throaty yelp remains fully intact, cutting through more than ever before. The song is catchy but doesn’t stay in one place too long. The refrain of “despite of it all, she’s unable to tell the time” is super-hooky and is guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days.
There’s a warmth to the desperation of the sound throughout with a thoughtful production job from Ross Middlemiss of Engineered Audio Recordings. This is none more apparent than in the second half of second song “Minnesota” with it’s picture-esque soundscapes, shimmering guitars and multi-layered melodic vocals, before racing back for an anthemic rocking ending. It’s the kind of sound that would fit seamlessly into the Emo Diaries catalogue.
To these ears, there seems to be a greater positivity in both sound and lyrical subject matter. Where previously things may have appeared a little dark, there seems to be more than a chink of light shining through. Overall, things are less frenetic but maintains urgency. Things are less Euroskramz and more Deep Elm/Dischord. I can’t help shake the thought that there’s a hint of something akin to Idlewild here also, although I reckon that lies in the distinct Scottish-ness of it all. The vocal hook and message at the end of “One Arm In” is a particularly fine example of such.
That said, closing track “A Grasp Too Far” brings with it a sense of bewilderment with reference to aimlessness and loss of faith, yet somehow it still seems positive; as if acknowledging the passing of a feeling/state but being quietly content with it. Finality leading to liberation, if you will.
All in all, this is a brilliant little release from a hard-working band from a town no stranger to hopelessness. There’s a knowing joyousness to it though and that has to be fully applauded. To my mind, Bonehouse are definitely on a level with the best of contemporary UK/EU emo/punk.
I’d definitely recommend getting hold of this release, whether it be for £2 from the band’s Bandcamp page or on CD from them at one of their upcoming shows. I am very much looking forward to the impending full-length.
They kick off their tour with Canadian punks Brain Fever today in Sheffield. Check out the rest of dates below;
19th July – SHEFFIELD – The Redhouse w/The Slow Blade (ex-Flatlands) and Bayone
20th July – MANCHESTER – Fuel (Donations) w/Doctrines, Claw the Thin Ice and Tribal Fighters
21st July – LEEDS – House show (Donations) w/Nai Harvest.
22nd July – NOTTINGHAM – The Chameleon w/Without Maps
23rd July – TRURO – Live Bar w/Monolithian
24th July – BRIDGEND – Hobo’s w/ Hunger Artist
25th July – LONDON – The Old Blue Last w/Kind Eyes and Bird Calls
26th July – NEWCASTLE – The Central w/SundayXLeague and Tide of Iron
27th July – GLASGOW – Captain’s Rest w/Great Cop and Without Aeroplanes
28th July – EDINBURGH – The Banshee’s Labyrinth w/Without Aeroplanes and Half a Dead Bird
29th July – DUNDEE – Kage w/Kaddish and The Shithawks
Here’s a live video from last year too;