Monday, 2 March 2015

Album Review - Bonehouse - Tomorrow's Worn Out Blue

Those familiar with Scottish Fiction may well be aware of the acoustic offerings of Dundee's Gone Wishing; and if you are not then check out our cassette release with him from last year - *cough cough plug plug*.  Whilst he is not doing solo releases, Owen McLaughlin finds himself with guitar in tow in Bonehouse, a Dundee punk/emo quartet who have been ploughing the furrow for some years now.  With Iain Carmicheal, Sean Arnold, and Lew Skelly; all alumni of previous bands; completing the line-up, Tomorrow's Worn Out Blues  is a debut LP five years in the offing.

Kicking off with intent is Altered Altars  with chiming guitars and pounding drums, and the dueling vocals, one melodic, the other close to shouting.  A rolling drum intro leads into the title track, a hurricane paced roar showcasing the band's punk credentials.

Broken Hearts and Shallow Sympathy  takes the album up a notch.  Outstanding guitar work, which in the bridge leads to shouts of "forget everyone" is complemented by solid bass and drums.  After a frenzied start, there's a lull in the track before the bass begins to build back up exploding again in the track's climax.  Everything good about Bonehouse can be found compressed into this five and a half minute track.

Things are slowed down with Conquistador,  although the half spoken vocals caked in passion prevent this track from veering into mundane territory.  The last half of the song in particular executes some exquisite vocal harmonies, providing a more introspective moment in the album.

There's more fast-slow dynamics at play on mid album tracks A God It Points To  and I am Magnificent, I Am Nothing.  However the best, in my opinion, is saved to last with album closer The Ripples of Hatred.  Splicing samples with archetypical punk vocals condemning racism, it's a powerful track, which vies with Broken Hearts and Shallow Sympathy  for the 'best track' tag.

This LP is a real labour of collective love, not only from the band but from the various DIY and punk labels around the world who have pulled together to ensure it gets the vinyl release it deserves.  Go show your support for their hard work and pick up a copy.

- Neil Wilson

Bonehouse - Tomorrow's Worn Out Blues  is out now via a collective of labels including Wolf Town DIY, Boslevan, Black Lake and Make That A Take Records in the UK, Steady Anchor and Tief in Marcellos Schuld in Europe, and Pint Sized Records in Canada.  The LP can be purchased on pick'n'mix coloured vinyl here.

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