Crumb Bum by The Bumblin' Bones is a unique album to say the least. The music is soulful and the singer’s voice has some sort of distortion making it sound lo-fi. I get a Ween feeling about their lyrics and general silliness that they bring to this piece.
The first song “Carnival” has this out of place "woo" that sounds like a weird bird or maybe just someone riding a carnival ride I suppose. The voice of the main singer gets screechy and unkempt. He does not seem to give a damn about that. There are some small screams in this song that made my heart clench up a little bit. I do like the background music, but my brain was trying to wrap itself around these unexpected woos. The next song “Don't Take Much to Fall” speaks about Brandy, and the singer sounds drunk and that is what I got out of it. There is a Mr. Rogers sounding piano play-along and some steady gentle drums.
The type of microphone they are using or the settings they are using make the singer’s voice sound so raspy it is unsettling and interesting. This album feels antique and dusty. It is ancient yet new. It makes me feel like a very hipster steam punk waxed mustache had a major influence on making this happen. The music sounds almost like the Grateful Dead if they were to get really wasted and have an obsession with old pocket watches. It is steam punk, it is Grateful Dead-esque, it is drunk. I can’t distinguish what is coming out of the mouth of the singer very often.
The song “Oh, Hold Me Not” says time and time again "waste of life." On the positive, I am glad there is an expression of these bottled up emotions. I must say if you move past the somewhat uncomfortable lyrics, I really do enjoy the actual music. The pianist is super talented and really dances over a lot of those "G"s that give feelings of hope and beauty. Moving along to the song “Hiding Place,” there seems to be a chorus of wild voices. This one almost reminds me of something Les Claypool would do. It has that heavy bass that is ironic and iconic. I like how the piano in the song is rudimentary, yet is the glue that holds together this whole album. The recording is distant and dusty like I said, giving you an old timey feeling. “A Little Extra Skin” brings back that circus-y sound that has an eerie yet fun sound. Infusion of organ and more clear guitar strumming sounds like a good soundtrack to cross the Mexican border.
I can’t help but imagine the studio recording of this album. I see the whole band kind of creating this cohesiveness, or trying to and then the singer just grabs the microphone and belts out these strangely said expressions. The band is kind of all looking at each other like okay let’s just get through this. I am not a huge fan of this album but I could see how someone more into punk would love this stuff. There are a lot of people that like that type of thing though and more power to you.
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