23 Aug 2015
Uh Bones "Honey Coma"
Reviewed by Celina Ozymandias
It seems I’m a bit late to the flower punk party happening in Chicago. Upon first listen of the Uh Bones, I’m actually upset that I haven’t been listening to them for years. This is a sound that makes me happy because while it is clearly heavily influenced by 60s garage and psychedelic rock, there is also enough originality in there to warrant your attention and your shimmy. It’s the perfect balance between boppin’-your-head and downright-getting-down music.
Their newest release, "Honey Coma", from Randy Records is a lo-fi delight full of Nuggets-esque goodness. The album is a slow lift-off with “In Your Womb,” a track that is like some lost, languid, early Black Lips number, only warm and fuzzy. And I mean fuzzy, in the nicest of ways. Like a giant, sleepy bumblebee cruising from flower to flower. Things start really picking up with “Loretta,” which could easily be a lost garage single from 1967. The bass sound throughout the album is phenomenal, but the bass line in this song is absolutely top. It’s punchy, it’s upbeat, and it’s bound to make you move. The next track is what happens when a band is able to combine the best of everything and make it work. “Trouble No More” takes the groove of the original, inserts Dawn Penn’s “No, No No”, and comes out sounding like The Blues Magoos (or, arguably, The Beatles). My hat’s off to the guys on that one because that’s no easy feat. Toward the end of the album, “I’ll Never” sticks out because it’s got the familiarity of The Kinks’ “I Need You” and a playful integration of instrumentation a la Them’s “Gloria.” It ends in a brief flourish of psych freakout that I could have gladly listened to for ages, but which speaks to their dynamic talent. They manage to put all of these influences in and still have room for their own sonic contributions.
I think ‘psych’ gets thrown around a lot these days as a blanket label of music that involves reverb and echo. What I feel Uh Bones are doing with their sound is solidifying their rightful claim to garage psych. There are no 8 or 28 minute drone sessions, there is no noodling, and in fact the longest track is just over 3 minutes long. These songs just get to the point and leave you wanting more. Uh Bones have a sound familiar to those of us (myself included) seemingly stuck in 60s worship, but they give us something new to dig and shake our butts to.
Vinyl and digital both available here: