One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Is there a better cliché out there anywhere?
That adage applies not only on a macro-level, but also on a micro-level. And musically it applies in both the in-box and the out-box. While it’s also true that garbage in the input usually produces garbage out of the other end, sometimes another rule holds true. A band can absorb lots of definitive and worthwhile influences, but many of those won’t necessarily produce any worthwhile results after the processing is completed. Woven Bones finds themselves in the outbox, ready to launch their album to planet terror, but their fuzzy, buzzy and sometimes skuzzy take on the post-modern decontsructo-bloooz is lacking in blood and soul.
It’s raw and gnarly, and at its high point harkens back to The Oblivians, but it’s mostly too dry, like a martini with bite that is lacking in flavor and complexity. There’s a ghostly Raveonettes quality to “I’ll Be Runnin’,” “Creepy Bone” is a so-so swampy blues, and there’s some decent tribal drums on “Guess You Already Knew,” but that’s not enough to off-set the difficulties. They grind on the same stone as the countless other bands that draw from the Jesus & Mary Chain handbook, but they can’t write the layered and hook-laden songs required to finish the job on those tracks.
And, “7 Year Mirror” sounds as if it was recorded in a damn dumpster. It would have been helpful to hear some of their own adventurous spirit come forth, instead of just recycling numerous other used material. This is nothing special, and this kind of thing has been done to death in the last decade and a half.