To The Bones – ‘Duke Type A’ (Medici Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Sunday, 14 February 2010 09:00

To_The_BonesAnyone who attended the recent Zico Chain UK tour will have no doubt experienced their main support, To The Bones in one way or another.  This four piece from Bolton/Manchester posses the innate ability to subconsciously seep into your inner most thoughts, even if like some you are doing your level best to escape the voodoo noise machine by propping up the bar.  And no one seems to be able to explain just how they do it.


But for those of us brave enough to venture further forward at their gigs the mass musical hypnosis is much easier to explain. To The Bones are simply one hell of a great Rock 'n' Roll band.


Following my recent near death experience with To The Bones on said tour at Bristol's Ice Station Thekla, I was quick to try and purchase a copy of the band's debut album 'Duke Type A' from the merch booth, only to be met with a Sold Out sign that nearly broke my big gothic heart.  Undaunted, I quickly followed frontman Rhys G Bradley's advice and snapped up a copy on Amazon, and here I am with said album now colouring my life forty-three shades of black and grey.


Of the standout tracks from their incendiary forty minutes onstage, it is the stuttering genius of 'Judith' that gets things underway, part Birthday Party, part Misfits the twelve goth bars mid section is worth the admission fee alone. Not far behind are the equally awesome 'Cay Augustina' with its Pixies bass driven bounce, and the Bauhaus dark pop of 'Lips On Red' that literally explodes in a blitz of cosmetic beauty.


'Rex' and 'Tycho' meanwhile stray more into Mondo Generator/QOTSA territory but never forget to keep their eyes firmly on the road to a great tune. 'Sonic Mammoth' even manages to cram Mark E Smith into a less than three minutes long fuzz box driven fucked up pop song of Jurassic love.


From 'Space Helmet' onwards the album does tend to loose some of the immediacy of the earlier tracks, but this is not because the tracks that follow are poor.  Far from it in fact, it's just that the opening seven tracks are just so damn strong.  So the sonic bliss of 'Ginza Blackjack', the glockenspiel driven (and dare I say it, Zico Chain like) 'Sharkies Bone Symphony' and flat out fucked 'To The Fucking Bones' still manage to get the hairs standing up on end, just not as quickly.


Not as obviously 'rawk' here as they are live, 'Duke Type A' manages to admirably capture the spirit of musical days gone by when NME, Sounds, and Melody Maker all covered great Alternative music in the truest sense of the word. 


'Duke Type A' really is a musical wet dream for anyone who also remembers those days, and rather handily comes all rolled up in one CD sized ten-track album.


Buy this and help support great new British music!