Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Just in time for Halloween and all the attendant ghouls and goblins comes Dead Man's Bones, the debut album from Dead Man's Bones (I know, right?). While I would have appreciated a more original title, if the band exhausted their creative efforts coming up with the material on the album then I'm fine with that. There's even a song called "Dead Man's Bones" putting the group on a even footing with Wilco right now.
The album also features song titles including "Buried In Water," "Flowers Grow Out Of My Grave" and "Lose Your Soul" which should give you a bit of a hint about how macabre the material is. Add in the fact that the band is accompanied by a choir of schoolchildren and it becomes particularly creepy. It's like a Langley Schools Music Project record if Dario Argento was the choirmaster. Despite the creepy vibe, there's still a sunniness that can't be masked as the children take great delight in belting out lyrics like "my body's a zombie for you" which can be heard below:
If Dead Man's Bones was just creepy lyrics delivered by kids, this would be a novelty act quickly forgotten after November 1st, but there's great musicality and a gentleness to the record as well. The first part of "Name In Stone," for instance, brings to mind Devendra Banhart's light touch.
Don't forget to check out Dead Man's Bones Myspace page and website, which are both creepy as fuck - check the dude digging the grave on the official website (although admittedly the disembodied head on Myspace kinda makes me think of this)
Oh, if you're wondering how long it would take me to mention the fact that actor Ryan Gosling is in this band, here's your answer. But to be honest, I listened to this album and was captivated before I learned that fact. That first listen was prompted only because it's on one of my favourite labels; Anti-. Look past the 'vanity project' / 'actor band' epithets likely to be slung by those who haven't really listened. Speaking of which...
Thanks for reading, now start listening...