Album Review: Bones - Vomit
Reviewed by Sam Jones
Crust. There’s a particular style of sound that comes to our minds when that term is used to describe a record. There are people who swear by this style and then, there are those who really get turned off by it. I myself am partial to the odd Crust album from time to time and here we find ourselves amidst Bones and their fourth full length record aptly titled Vomit. Formed back in 2009 out of the city of Chicago, Illinois, United States, the band have been a pretty straightforward act whereby they haven’t done any Eps, Splits, Live Albums etc of the sort. There’s no fluff to be had with Bones which, oddly enough, seems to fit with what kind of band these guys are. Their first album was released in 2011, self-titled, and since then, the band have been steadily churning out records. Following that, Sons Of Sleaze released in 2013, and there would be a six year gap between any notable release from the band, but in 2019 Bones returned in roaring fashion with their third full length piece: Diseased. This was the album that really raise my eyebrows as, prior, I had never really paid attention to Crust, so when I heardBones were looking to release an album in 2022 I was excited to get on it. Would Vomit live up to the praise that Diseased garnered? Time to find out.
Crust albums are often renowned for their grimy and raw tone, and while that is the case with Vomit on the whole, it’s the drums that somehow manage to exude that sense of a jagged and rough terrain. The majority of the album is actually quite uniformed whereby the guitar, bass and vocals fuse together to create a rather streamlined variant of sound that doesn’t fail to reach you. It’s accessible and makes for no difficulty regarding how we experience this record, yet the Tom-toms are the opposite; the drums, for the most part, offer a pretty bass-heavy sound which manages to work with the rest of the songwriting but the more acoustic aspect of the drumming really stands out. It’s this tinny, hollowed sound that manages to accentuate the crust element of the band’s sound, delivering the rawest quality the mixing allows us to interpret.
Like many Bones records too, Vomit is a quick piece. Their tracks aren’t running on for too long, which makes for a rolling aesthetic, enabling one track to immediately reinvigorate us after the previous piece finishes. Most notably as well, the band’s songwriting isn’t looking to submerge us within walls of atmosphere or evolving songwriting where we can feel the music dip and dive, ebb and flow; unless Bones have something considerable in mind regarding their songwriting, you’re unlikely to experience anything deep or vast. The band’s songwriting is pretty one-and-done so when you get a notion of what sound a specific track is offering, that’s going to be the general vibe and the band aren’t going to shift far from that original notion. With this said though, the band don’t play on for too long throughout each track anyway, so they give us just enough to feel satisfied before moving on to the next piece.
Adding vastly to the crust sound this record demonstrates, is the band’s desire to play with speed in mind. That’s not to say they’re just going to dish out one blistering track after another, because they showcase, in a track like “Tower Of Skulls”, their ability to slow things down and throw in dirtier helpings of vocals and bass, to create a muddier aesthetic that you can’t help but enjoy because of how removed from conventional thrash and death metal is. Even though Bones implement such techniques like these, there’s always the idea prevalent that their momentum is always on the go; even if it outright slows down to a crawl, you can’t help but feel like you’re still being edged along to an end goal. Regardless what speed the band play at, you’re always moving and it’s this notion that enables your attention to stay fixed on their sound.
Another element that gives this band their crust edge has to be the guitar tone and the way this record has been produced. Much like their previous output, Bones possess a dirty guitar performance but they aren’t too adamant on the album itself being overly grimy. When you hear the riffs played, you’re able to fully take in the tone played and feel the riffs all the more magnified in scope because of it. The actual guitar sound isn’t that dense, it’s as if you could still put your fist through it, should it be necessary; the riffs swell and expand to encompass the entirety of this album so while the strums themselves emit rudimentary guitar tone, it feels like the resonance of those riffs then extend outwards to completely consume the breadths of our attention. There’s no escaping this record but, it hasn’t been done in a way that sees the band keep you against your will.
In conclusion, Vomit is another excursion of crusty death metal that succeeds on all fronts. I didn’t find any better than Diseased, their last album, but in a way, it didn’t need to. Crust records, I find, don’t need to try and aspire to be an outstanding work of metal in their field; they just need to provide the raw and rough power that fans of this style are looking for. With nine tracks that don’t hang around for long, Bones deliver on a record that is as quick as it is dirty. With that said, much of their songwriting and instrumental elements are fused together to create a zippered aesthetic that sees riffs and drums and vocals come together wherefore Vomit never feels like a disparate slew of elements coming together; rather it’s as if they had always been one force and that’s what we experience on record herein. Crust isn’t usually my forte in metal, but with Bones I’m glad to make an exception. I thoroughly enjoyed this record and believe many others will do so just as much.