I Am Bones

The Greater Good

Written by: PP on 03/10/2007 02:46:40

Seeing how insanely popular The Strokes and The Hives have been in the last five or six years, it's surprising that the music scene isn't bursting with bands who sound a little or exactly like them. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to tell you a single band who sounds at all like them, aside from maybe The White Stripes but even they are a whole another story. I'd also be hard pressed to find anyone who didn't find songs like "12:51" and "Reptilia" incredible, and therefore I was actually disappointed that I didn't know of any bands who had successfully taken influence from one of the two bands. But now, it looks like my search is over, because Århus, Denmark based I Am Bones are about to launch their sophomore album "The Greater Good" into the unsuspecting public.

"The Greater Good" takes everything that was great about The Hives and early The Strokes and packs it together into a 34 minute indie-flavored garage-rock punch. Differentiating just enough to make accusations of copycatting have the carpet pulled from underneath them, the songs are fast, they are rawly distorted (fitting nicely to the garage rock description), and most of all they are excellent. Opener "Home Is The One Corner Of Hell..." kickstarts the album into a frenzy of distortion-filled guitars with the kind of intensity scarcely met in Denmark. The tempo's high, and the chorus is infectiously catchy, and the two guitars mingle together melodically to create that awesome The Strokes parallel I was talking about earlier. As most songs are not much longer than 2-3 minutes, the listener is given little time to breathe which keeps the album flowing nicely. "Zeitgeist" continues straight from the opening track, keeping the tempo and switching out the infectious melody with an even more catchier one.

Vocalist Johannes Gammelby is all over the vocal range, singing his way through some choruses, bordering screaming on others, and scratch-yelling on most of the choruses. His versatility allows for dynamic song structures, as seen on for instance the opening of "Let's Leave The City", when the tempo is half of that we heard on the first two tracks. "Walk, Don't Run" sees the tempo slow down almost to a complete stop as Gammelby takes a more thoughtful vocal approach, popping the slower White Stripes material into mind instantly, but not enough to really bother you. In fact, everything the band does on the CD seems to work, be it the fast-paced Wolfmother style 70s rock idolizer "The Masterplan" or the almost industrial "Cotton Fever". "Motivational Speech For Suicidal People" spices the album up with some nice humour, and reinforces the whole tongue-in-cheek attitude that the album as a whole depicts. It is this unseriousity and the element of fun that makes this album as good as it is.

The only track I would've personally either left out or worked a bit more on is "The Arsonist". Its beginning annoys the hell out of me all the time, because it sounds so off-tune and so unfitting to the rest of the songs on the album - the beat sounds like RnB gone terribly wrong. About half way through, the sound returns back to the distortion filled frenzy of riffs and all's great again.

Almost every song on "The Greater Good" puts me in a dancing mood on each listen. I think I've been missing their kind of a record for a long time - pretty much ever since The Strokes went gay on "First Impressions Of Earth" - so it's about time someone took it as their responsibility to bring back indie-flavored garage rock to the mainstream public. Although their formula is straightforward - danceable fast-paced garage rock - it just plain and simple works. The best record in its genre this year without a doubt.

Download: Home Is The One Corner Of Hell..., Zeitgeist, King Grounded
For the fans of: The Strokes, The Hives, The White Stripes
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.10.2007
Morningside Records

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