Album Review: Woven Bones – In and Out and Back Again

Who the bloody hell does this here band think they are? Who asked them to make one of the best records of the year? How is it that they could come out of nowhere and rock my world so very much? I’ll tell you what, these saucy little Austinites have made a killer, killer record, my friends, and it seriously has my knickers in a twist. 9 songs is all it takes Woven Bones to wrap me around their collective little finger.

In and Out and Back Again is delicious from start to finish. And a little perplexing, too. You see, the first time I listened to it, I wasn’t sure when the hell this record had been made. It reminded me more than a little of bands like The Dream Syndicate and The Nectarine No. 9, both bands tangled up in muddy, magnificent fuzz with a rather aggressive attitude resonating through their music (the peak music being made in the late 70s-early 80s). So too with Woven Bones, who while relative neophytes in that pseudo post-punk meets shoegaze meets the garage playground, certainly don’t act like new arrivals. Hot damn, In and Out and Back Again has swagger. It’s all over the place, wrapped around the distortion, giving extra bite to the slightly monotone sneer of the vocals.

This record has every right to be so cocky. It’s pretty awesome, from top to bottom. “Blind Conscience” sets the table, immediately grabbing you with those driving drums and swirling guitars. “Couldn’t Help But Stare” ups the ante even more, speeding things up and getting louder. Which, by the way, is another crucial point about In and Out and Back Again. The louder you listen to it, the more painful it gets, but the better it sounds. My absolute, hands-down favorite, “Creepy Bone,” has a little something sinister to it, with an extra dose of sass. “Guess You Already Know” is more of the same, sizzling noise with major white light and white heat.

“Half Sunk Into The Seats” has some kicky little shimmy to it, and continues along the Woven Bones themes of beating you over the head with crushing, crunchy guitars and gritty drums and the overwhelming awesomeness of the result of those combined forces. Basically, little darlings, this record is without a doubt one of the best I’ve heard, or am likely to hear, this year. It totally blew me away, and if you give it a chance it might just do the same to you. I’m converted to the ways of Woven Bones, I’ve seen the light, and there’s no goin’ back.

mp3: Creepy Bone (Woven Bones from In and Out and Back Again)


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