Chicago’s Bones possess a number of endearing qualities: They are not pretentious, but instead feral. Their music sounds like it hasn’t bathed in weeks, just like us. They’ve got obviously impressive technical chops but manage to sound loose and sometimes even out-of-control. They know how to groove (man, do they know how to groove!), but they’re hellraisers at heart who revel in mauling and massacre.
And as important as all that, although Bones don’t take themselves too seriously they know how to write dynamic and fiendishly infectious songs that harness together a riotous cornucopia of genre ingredients, finding the natural connection points among all of them.
Okay, well “endearing” may not be the best term we could have picked, even though it is linguistically correct — because Bones do inspire genuine affection among fans of gnarly, in-your-face metallic extremity that revels in its carnal wildness.
We could probably stop right there and just leave you to the main object of this feature, which is a premiere stream of Bones‘ new album Vomit, which will be out on October 28th via disorder-recordings. But of course we won’t shut up right away — the album’s too much fucking fun for us to clam up about it.
The album opener “Beware of Ghouls” provides an effective summing up of many (though not all) of the musical ingredients that Bones pour into this boiling cauldron of an album — maniacally sizzling and slithering riffage, rumbling and gut-slugging bass lines, skull-snapping and body-moving drum rhythms, and a noxious stew of raw, ragged howls, belching growls, and deranged screams.
That opener is a wild and nasty romp that seems to grow even more unhinged as it goes, but fuck it, if your head and other body parts aren’t moving by the time it ends, someone needs to slap a pair of juiced-up defibrillators on your sunken chest because you’re comatose.
The beatings will continue until discipline improves, and that seems to be the message of “Death Sentence”. Yes, it’s a full-force beating, and as vicious as a bag of wolverines, but it rocks damned hard too. Cannonades roar in the low end, stripped-down chords slash away with highly infectious effect, and on top of all that the guitar wails and gets woozy too, just a little dose of psychedelics to keep you on your toes (or out of your head).
Just that opening one-two punch is enough to tell you that Bones aren’t going to do exactly the same thing on any two tracks, which proves true as you spin yourself through the rest of this tumultuous thrill-ride.
“Noose” is downright insane, just inches away from jumping off the rails into chaos (the crazed soloing, however, does clear the rails), but also manages to bring a morbid stomp into play, while “Tower of Skulls” sounds like a brazen and barbaric anthem but also gives you both a turbocharged chugfest, a scary-as-hell (and sludgy) devolution into dementia, and another unhinged solo.
Don’t worry, we’re not going to give in completely to a track-by-track commentary, but we’ve also got to mention the short instrumental track “Retch”, because it’s such an out-of-left field display of sinister tribal and martial drumming, and the electrifying effect of all the sudden rhythmic gear-shifting and brutish jackhammering that happens in the title song (and the track’s predictably vomitous vocal disgorgements).
At the end you’ll come to Bones‘ cover of Van Halen’s “She’s The Woman” — which was recorded just days before Eddie Van Halen’s death and will be a CD/Bandcamp exclusive track. It includes great guest vocals by Nick Hernandez (Dysphoria, ex-Kommandant). Of course, Bones put their own filthy hands all over the song, but it’s just as catchy as the original.
To close, we have this invitation and promise from Jon Necromancer:
“Our fourth album finds us hitting our stride. After 13 years as a band, and over 30 years in other bands in the metal underground, this album dribbled down our leg pretty effortlessly. 100% confidence and commitment. Crank this through your head holes and I guarantee we’ll get you fucking sick.”
Alright, we’ll shut the fuck up now and leave you to it. Take your clothes off if you feel like it, get sweaty, lose your mind, have fun!
For those new to Bones, it unites drummer/vocalist Joe Warlord (Usurper), guitarist Carcass Chris (ex-Usurper), and bassist/lead vocalist Jon Necromancer (Contrition, High Spirits, ex-Usurper).
Vomit was tracked over two days at Steve Albini‘s Electrical Audio by Jon San Paulo (Shellac, Pelican, Neurosis) and one day at Hypercube Studio with Sanford Parker (Voivod, Darkthrone, Leviathan). The album was then mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room (Macabre, Eyehategod, Ministry) and completed with gruesome artwork by XNA Casperson (Dawnbringer, Zuul) and design by Eva Flora.
The day after the release of Vomit, Bones will celebrate the new record with a hometown release show at Reggies on October 29th supporting Autopsy with additional support from Cardiac Arrest and comedian Dave Hill. Additional shows and tour dates will surface in the months ahead.