Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bag Of Bones - Deep Thought

01. Mana Burn
02. Mt. Vernon
03. This One Time At Fat Camp...
04. So It Goes...
05. Over It, Schmover It
06. Good And Kind And Humble
07. Just Got Back From The Discomfort (I'm Alright)
08. Orchard Beach
09. You People
10. Get Happy
11. RVR DVNG (Bonus Track)

Before I even hit 'play' I was warming to this album. The cover depicts a sleepy street at sunrise (or sunset perhaps), maybe from the American Midwest and I'm a sucker for this style of artwork. The first track, 'Mana Burns' opens with some noodly guitar and a spoken word intro. Spoken word intros on albums can be hit or miss, and often can be quite cringeworthy but this one is amazing, with some-one (perhaps John Molfetas, the one man band that is Bag Of Bones) talking about the experience of an older kid letting him listen to 'Web In Front' by Archers Of Loaf and this incident changing his whole outlook on music... the fact that I had a similar experience when I heard 'Web In Front' on the Mallrats soundtrack many years ago meant I had already connected with this album more than any other in the last year and the first track hadn't really even started yet! What follows over the course of the next 11 tracks is nothing short of breathtaking. If you like Owen, Mineral, Into It. Over It, You Blew It! or Dowsing then you are going to find something on 'Deep Thought' that will have you revisiting it on a regular basis. I personally find it hard to pick a highlight, and tend to listen to the album as a whole body of work whenever I listen to it. In addition to the amazing music, there are a number of excerpts that make their way into the songs, this is something I tend to dislike as it distracts from the music (which sometimes may be the bands intention) but John uses them to excellent effect, check out the dialogue from 'Weeds' used at the start of 'Good And Kind And Humble' which just seems to work! It reminds me of the Freaks & Geeks excerpt deployed by Dikembe at the beginning of 'Scottie Spliffen' but at this point I worry I've mentioned the artwork and excerpts more than the music - the music is what makes this album incredible, don't get me wrong. Every track registered with me, relatable lyrics delivered amazingly over twinkly guitar riffs in songs that average 3 minutes. In keeping with a recurring theme among the music I loved in 2012, there are also horns used at various points, check out 'Just Got Back From The Discomfort (I'm Alright)' for an incredible example of how the likes of trombones & saxophones can be used to amazing effect with this style of music. (If you're looking for further proof, check out Joie De Vivres album from last year, or Colossals 'Welcome The Problems' from 2004.) This is just an incredible emo album, and one of my highlights of 2012, all the more impressive when you consider that Bag Of Bones is just one dude (with some help from a few friends and family members) and it's completely free. Definitely worth checking out.

Reviewed by Gary.

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