Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jacobi Wichita - 2008 Bonez Malone

Band : Jacobi Wichita
Album : Bonez Malone
Release Year : 2008
  Genre : Post-Hardcore | Progressive | Experimental

 Tracklist :
1. Hey, Hey, Hey... Take It Easy
2. Belly Up
3. There's No Business Like Snow Business
4. Violet's Aren't Blue, They're Violet
5. Gucci Girl (Feat. Jerry Jones)
6. Bloody Pelvis
7. Mental Crown (Feat. Jennifer Reyes)
8. Gullyhead
9. The Eye-touch of Brilliance
10. Baby Gorilla Teeth
11. I Only Draw Chairs
12. Jammin' On the One

The guys in Connecticut's post-punk quintet Jacobi Wichita tell about their effort Bonez Malone in their press kit, saying, "Each song is a roller coaster of emotion." They include that, "They have made a multifaceted blend of tracks that push the progressive rock, hip-hop, and Latin genres to their limit." As a listener, I found Bonez Malone to be lacking on these promises. The music is stereotypical of post-punk, screamo and experimental rock endeavors. For the band, I have no doubt that they are extremely proud of their work, but for the listener, the album is a bit like an abstract painting or art installation whose specialness is not obvious to the outsider.

The members of Jacobi Wichita do try very hard on the album to keep their chord changes active and their tempo shifts diverse, but they make these cuts without a natural progression or a reason to back them. These changes end up being irrational instead of purposely, although the band does justify themselves in their press release by saying this "makes the flow anything but ordinary, anything but boring." Lead vocalist Brendan Rodriguez shifts from a screamo resonance to a hip-hop jolt reminiscent of Gym Class Heroes vocalist Travis McCoy. The band's guitarist Ben Lopez keeps the tunes in turmoil while holding a post-punk stature and keyboardist Casey McKenna adds touches of experimental and ambient-pop that gives the songs a melodic undertow like in "Hey, Hey, Hey... Take It Easy" and "Gullyhead." The rhythm section of bassist Roberto Zapata and drummer Matt Swain plaster the songs with hammering beats and funk-rock grooves like in "Violets Aren's Blue, They're Violet." One of the best written tracks on the album is "Mental Crown" with lovely harmony vocals that have a relaxing R&B/soul feel. If the band had more songs like "Mental Crown," it would have been a more enjoyable experience.

Jacobi Wichita's release Bonez Malone shows many correlations to Gym Class Heroes in the band's post-punk and experimental rock tendencies. Jacobi Wichita is a band that you will either greatly admire or find nothing special about them, but possibly their best is yet to be discovered. -Susan Frances

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