Shocking news: on their debut album In And Out And Back Again, Woven Bones sound like they are listening to a lot of The Jesus & The Mary Chain. There, now that thatâ€™s out of the way, perhaps thereâ€™s a little time to discuss their excellent album – just act quickly on the discussion, because the entire thing clocks in at about twenty six minutes and feels more like fifteen with its breakneck pace.
The band careens from song to song so quickly and forcefully, never slowing down to even acknowledge that there are flowers, much less sniff them, that â€“ especially upon first listen â€“ the audience is left wondering what herd of animals just trampled them. Given such a short running time, the frantic pacing, the cavernous vocals, the hazed buzz of the guitars and primal drums, the trio almost succeed in hiding their brilliant hook writing tendencies. Intentional camouflaging or not, thereâ€™s no denying that their songs, however brief and concise, harbor some wickedly amazing melodies.
Check out the soaring vocals on â€œYou Already Knewâ€ and â€œBlind Conscienceâ€; thatâ€™s melody buried under the screaming guitars and the pounding drums. So few bands before them â€“ maybe only Dead Moon and a few others â€“ have managed to capture the bluesy swamp of a hot garage so well. Woven Bones has discovered a near perfect blend of simple early rock and roll (Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry) twisted and dragged through the darkest corner of the dank garage. On â€œCreepy Boneâ€, frontman Andrew Burrâ€™s howling yelp sounds like a call from Grace Slickâ€™s worst nightmare. Woven Bonesâ€™ proto rock sounds as if it climbed straight from the ooze, before man was man.
Whatever it is, Woven Bones are on to something; like the frayed, blurred edges of a rock and roll history lesson, the band seems vaguely familiar. The melodies, hooks, and riffs seem to be wafting out of some forgotten path. In the end, it ultimately just seems futile to try to heap enough superlatives on a bandâ€™s first full-length album.
So, how about this not-so-shocking news: Woven Bones sound like they are themselves; In And Out And Back Again is a really great beginning to a band that sounds like it could be from the beginning of time. Hopefully, evolution and time will continue to pass them up.
*Originally posted on Austin Sound.net