Monday, 31 May 2010

Woven Bones - In and Out and Back Again (HoZac)

There is a general outlook today that rock and roll has been on the back foot for a little while, stepping out of the limelight in place of synths, squeals and the sound of tomorrow (otherwise known as autotune). Still, musicians the world over hammer out their soul with heavy guitars and clattering drumkits and I truly believe there’s an innate aggression fuelling such an ethos, the inner voice that tells you to bash things about as a child (or as an adult come to think of it). Respectable rock in 2010 has to attack a little differently and throwing in some scuzz, feedback, energy and simple, back-to-basics hostility may be the right way to do it if ‘In and Out and Back Again’, the debut album from Woven Bones is anything to go by.

Barging their way straight out of Austin, Texas, Woven Bones weave a gnarly sort of rock and roll. From the raucous intro of opener ‘I’ll Be Running’, you understand that these guys can kick up some dirt and shake it off right into your eyes (and ears). They toy with intros and outros, leaving a trail of feedback in the wake of certain songs, as if pausing between each sonic battering. Woven Bones urge you to go see them onstage, using their recordings as a tease, and you know that hearing the likes of ‘Blind Conscience’ live would shatter an eardrum or two.

You can feel the influence of punk and shoegaze coursing through the veins of this record, imbuing it with that vital anarchic sense. It can be argued that the sluggish nature of the tracks sound a little offhand and obnoxious, with the whole record racking in at less than half an hour. All considered, and after a good headphone session, this hasty attitude eventually drones its way to a mesmerizing result.

The superbly sullen vibe of ‘Creepy Bone’ digs its way through a heap of riff to groan at you with a vibe I can only describe as ‘sheer swagger’. The short sharp blasts of each track, from the plod of ‘Half Sunk Into Seats’ to the rumble of ‘Seven Year Mirror’, slithers and juts along on waves of inspired detachment.

Woven Bones kick their way into music as a violent Velvet Underground, ploughing their way through nine noxious chunks of gutter rock. And though I use the term noxious, it can promise it’s a good kind of poison.

Words : Adam Parker

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