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Album Review: To The Bones - Astral Magic

Bolton's To The Bones sound as if they want to be Motorhead, avid Queens of The Stone Age fans and promoters of the continuation of punk. While that could sound like an eclectic and varied mix, To The Bones manage to create a controlled and unified sound out of all their (very evident) influences. They released their Kyuss tribute album spanking new EP 'Astral Magic' on November 22nd.

They kick off with 'Astral Magic', as common a stoner riff as you'd get but with enough groove to keep the ship afloat. Vocally, the lyrics are spat out sporadically in a way not dissimilar to the likes of Sonic Youth or The Pixies. Overall, it's a solid if not a little unimaginative desert rock track. 'Y-H-F' treads similar ground (a common occurrence on the EP) and might as well have been taken straight off one of Josh Homme's latest musings. It's a fuzzy guitar bonanza decorated with a chorus that sounds like the closest you'll come to a hook.

'Super Rock', on the other hand, is a step up. There's no space for grooves here as a straight up punk state of mind sinks into the song in seemless fashion. This powerpunch of a riff-based song climaxes with a foul-mouthed combo of riffage and pounding drums (screams included in set). 'Super Monster' closes the shop with another same old packaged riff but adds a few moments of variety that makes for welcome sections where the band experiments with their sound a little.

As far as straight-up rock is concerned, To The Bones make a good job, but to the more experienced listener, they may sound a bit predictable and ultimately out of ideas. If the band were willing to work outside their boundaries a little, no doubt their confident sound would take on wider and more exciting levels of rock-ness.


'Astral Magic' by To The Bones is available now through The Evening Economies.

To The Bones on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!