Monday, December 16, 2013

The BoneDevil Conjures Oshawa Metal

The BoneDevil
Rising out of Oshawa, Ontario, is a four-piece with a bent for cross-breeding folk rock and nu metal — and the beasts they produce in doing so are as heavy as you might expect. The BoneDevil delivers track after track of pummeling rhythm punctuated by dueling guitars and roaring, hypnotic vocals.

The music is hard and relentless, conjuring nods to dozens of no-nonsense metal predecessors. The writing is tight. The vocals are staggered. The guitar work frequently mesmerizing. The drums are pounding, occasionally panicked. And together, they create a groove that graciously restores faith in the genre.

Sure, BoneDevil lays down the schtick in their bio, telling a story about how The BoneDevil was entrapped for two thousand years before emerging from Mother Earth with a starvation so intense that it consumed the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And then there is the title of their debut — Don't Be A Pussy! — which tries a tad too hard to get attention in the opposite direction. But never mind all that. They can play.

Their debut is a Wrecking Ball because it hits so hard.

Wrecking Ball is the second tune down on the 10-track track full length. For four-plus minutes, The BoneDevil effortlessly introduces its members with instrumental sections that take turns showcasing the talents of Abel Renton (vocals, guitars), Angus Hillier (vocals, guitars), Angel Valenciano (bass) and Chris Jackson (drums). The immediate takeaway is that this might be the real deal.

The band follows up Wrecking Ball with Burn The White House Down, a dizzying display of folk vocals interspersed with fiery guitar licks and big, recklessly descending notes designed to shake your bones with the right volume. It chugs and buzzes for better than five minutes.

Both tracks are more memorable than what the band chose to promote in advance of the album. They lead with the first track, Speedfreak, which draws a half dozen or so analogies related to being an adrenaline junkie. The songwriting isn't as crisp as other tracks, but the band still jams.

The video gives up something else about the band. As serious as they sound, they don't take themselves seriously. And perhaps there is an irony in learning it. They are good enough that they could take themselves seriously (without alienating their Pabst drinking draw). But that hardly matters because they would rather have a good time. And they do.

There aren't any bad tracks on the album. Standouts includes the riff-laden grooviness of Taffy Tornado, the playful barroom romp of Boomba, and the apocalyptic meanderings of Blood On The Stone. Further down the track list, The Emigrant Song smolders with equal parts glamour and gloom.

Marc Taylor's Blues is also a must listen. The track alternates between some familiar vintage rock and angry don't-judge-me blues-infused metal. The transitions are epic in that most bands could never make them work. The BoneDevil pulls it all off effortlessly.

The band ends on Laughing At The Sunrise, which also brings in some big, bluesy notes. It works as a wind up or wind down. Just don't expect to be put to sleep, even if it includes a full minute of ambient pinball noises.

Don't Be A Pussy! By The BoneDevil Digs 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

For a band that almost broke up after releasing two 7-inchers and being teased with the promise of a record deal, The BoneDevil has found a whole new purpose in playing what they call rock'n'roll imbedded with thunder and lighting. There are moments on the album where it's easily agreed.

Don't Be A Pussy! by The BoneDevil is available on Amazon and can also be downloaded from iTunes. You can also hear an album sampling on band camp. Three tracks give up the lyrics. For their tour schedule, follow them on Facebook. The band originally came together in 2010. Expect some more heavy goodness from them.
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