Our Bones is a hard rock/alternative band from the Orange County, NY area. After playing together in a variety of different music projects for several years, they formed a band in 2015. Although their sound could be described as hard rock, there are also many different elements of different genres as well, making for a unique style. Their debut album No Slogan consists of ten diverse tracks that are definitely not for the faint of heart.
The album started with “Incumbent” which had a rhythmic marching band-esque drum beat and a dark feel. The lead vocals started with a sing-song indie style but quickly turned into aggressive and loud screaming. It felt menacing yet intriguing and I had a hard time working out my feelings about the sound. The arrangement was intricate and unique and undeniably different. The vibe is a lot harder than I’m used to but amazingly stylistic and cool. The second track “Wormhole Heart” won me over right away with its swaying, almost surf rock sound, and playful Indie rock vibe. The vocals were soft and playful but I found myself getting anxious every time I thought they might turn angry again. It definitely takes a darker turn towards the end but at this point, it seemed kind of fitting to me.
The track “Die Alone” was intense, to say the least. The contrast between the two vocal styles is insane. It’s like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing. There’s no transition. it just goes from gentle to rage in an instant. But I can’t say that I don’t like it. There’s something extremely badass about it. I can’t say I’ve ever heard anything like it. And the rest of the sound is on point. The guitars, bass and drums all stand up to the intense theatrics of the vocals and provide a solid foundation for the cool arrangements and melodies.
“Pray for Prey” had a video game-esque intro with very clever poetic lyrics. The vocals are even more intense on this track. I have to say that his voice physically affects me. I feel my heart rate quicken and I have to take deep breaths. Being the huge music nerd that I am, I am always somewhat “moved” by a powerful song, but this is on another level entirely. The next song “I Lit a Fire” almost killed me. Ok, not really, but it was the most intense track on the album for sure. The drums and guitar are just as piercing as the vocals, as they are on all the tracks, and the overall result is a dramatic and powerful song.
“Family Affair” stood out from the rest for me. It was soft and sad with harmonies and intimate lyrics. In an obscure way, it reminded me of “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer, even though I’m not really able to explain why. The following tracks “Rose (Pt. 1)” and “Rose (Pt. 2)” showcase the dynamics of the lead vocals while providing a catchy chorus and a complex arrangement. I loved the line “I can see that you’ve been dreaming because I’m conscious to a fault.” “Lost and Found” has a cool rhythmic intro and a pretty melodic guitar melody but I found myself bracing for the hardness that inevitably came, but was much more accessible than other tracks. The final song and title track “No Slogan” had a full, lush sound with intellectual lyrics.
Our Bones is something special. Although the hardcore vocal style can be somewhat polarizing at times, the playful Indie vibe pulls you in and allows someone like me who might not be fully versed in the hardcore style to want to stick around and experience more. The smart lyrics and instrumental talent make for a well-rounded album. I fully enjoyed No Slogan and will be anxiously awaiting the follow-up with heart medication if necessary.
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