Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bonedome: Revives 90’s alternative and grunge

Bonedome: Revives 90’s alternative and grunge

Group from Texas recently released their first album “Thinktankubator”

Anni Simpson
Asst. Copy Editor

Texan alternative group Bonedome released “Thinktankubator.” The name is incredibly indicative of what the album becomes. It seems to be an out-of-the-ordinary musical experience intended to force a new perspective on its listeners. The Dallas-based group was formed under the leadership of Allan Hayslip, who intended the group “as the nom-de-rock for songs and performances that have never quite fit in his other bands,” according to the website. Hayslip fills a lot of roles for the group, including “vocals, bass guitar, guitars, tracking engineer, composer” and “producer.” He is joined by Gerald Iragorri on drums and percussion, Edward McMahon on guitar, Paul Williams on guitar and keys, Colin Boyd on guitar, Jonathan Lacey on guitars and composition, Gregg Prickett on guitar and Chad Stockslager on keys for the album. Stewart Bennett served as the tracking manager. The music is a strange combination between Frightened Rabbit, Green Day and Dishwalla, with the same eccentric, esoteric and cynical lyrics standard in 90’s alternative rock. If you listen to the “90’s lunch” on 106.5 and want a fresh band for a similar sound, Bonedome is for you. “Slow Jesus Xing” epitomizes this sound, with slow, drawn out riffs that, on the surface, mask a critique on American, religious culture. The lyrics are akin to the style found in Porno for Pyros’ "Pets” and the Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper.” In “Eraser,” Hayslip croons to losing a woman he’s abused. Whether he’s looking at an outside situation ironically or being brutally, apathetically honest about a situation of his own, he turns the normal breakup song on its head. This is a consistent pattern. Bonedome turns normal sounding alternative music into an interesting play on the expected; He turns normalcy into abnormality. The most brilliant of any of the songs on the album in this way is “Custody Lullaby.” What’s normally considered a way to comfort an unhappy child, a song that serves to remind the world is indeed
a safe place, becomes an apology for a child stuck between an unfair situation that punishes the least responsible. Not all of the songs impress, however. “I Can Lose You” is not only generic musically, but so are the lyrics. Nothing complex in the way of musical style or lyrics are offered to the listener, with simple
lyrics like “if losing me now makes you better somehow, all right” and “the signals we’re used to
aren’t very strong.” It seems like they’re making an analogy between a failing relationship and losing signals at NASA (“Houston, we have a little problem”), but David Bowie and Pink Floyd did that already. It’s
either that, or they’re referencing the city of Houston, making the song even more simple. With songs
like “Custody Lullaby” and “Slow Jesus Xing,” I’m disappointed, because it’s clear they’re more clever than that. It’s obvious that’s what the group was going for. The album is self-described as “a product of a musical omnivore” whose lyrical style is “dark, indeed often chilling” because of “his massive grudge against the world,” according to the website. All of that is evident in everything the band does. If that was the point, they’ve more than succeeded. The band also proclaimed to encourage on their website, promising that “it’s an album that rewards each further listening, as layers of guitars reveal hidden melodies and a previously unnoticed line reveals itself to be a subtly clever bit of vindictiveness.” On the second and third play of the album, this is precisely what happened. The album’s better songs will make you thing, and you’ll skip past the less impressive ones on your playlist. Let’s be honest, though. What album doesn’t have songs that displease someone somewhere, even if the listener actively likes the band? If you want a throwback to the shockingly blatancy of 90’s grunge and alternative, check them out. You won’t regret it if you do.

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