Having been gripped and enthralled by its first singles, it was inevitable that we would be drawn into the seductively dark and unpredictable realm of Bone Architecture. The exploration of the first album from the collaboration of Harry Stafford and Marco Butcher only proved even more fascinating and addictively compelling and we can only implore you to go investigate and embrace its aberrant magnificence.
The union between the frontman of Manchester’s legendary Inca Babies, Harry Stafford and US-based Brazilian guitarist Marco Butcher, who has been behind and involved in a host of bands (The Jam Messengers, Chicken Snake, and The Jesus and The Groupies among them) and as many notable collaborations, came during the global lockdown; their virtual introduction evolving into eager creativity. A passion for and experimentation in urban punk blues and garage trash rock embracing the rich provocative hues of soulfully nurtured jazz and post punk intrigue gave birth to Bone Architecture and for us an addiction which has risen by every exposure to its drama and tenebrific fascination.
Bone Architecture opens with its title track and new single, the inviting rhythmic shuffle from Butcher an irresistible lure to which the dark shadows of bass and the suggestive cries of the trumpet, provided by Kevin Davy throughout the album, lay potent lures. Equally dramatic are the visceral words and descriptions of Stafford brought forward in his ever inimitable and powerful way. This is a track exposing the senses to the core of a riot as passion and instinct collides with bone breaking authority, Stafford sparing no mercy in his narrative as around his reporting sounds flame, trespass and seduce.
It is a gripping start to the release which Look Behind You Look Again eagerly escalates, effects and a raw breath adding to the immediate captivation of ears and imagination. It is a track which prowls, no stalks the psyche, its swing bold and devious but thickly compelling just as the haunting resonance of its caliginous atmosphere. An incessant nagging pleasure, the song confirmed an itch we would eagerly scratch and with lustful regularity, the following There’s Someone Tryin’ To Get In cementing that delicious ache with its similarly predacious and slightly claustrophobic harrying of the senses. With a blues bred swing and a saunter that preys on the senses, the track led by Strafford’s rousing vocal inclinations proved pure manipulation.
The nefariously spun, noir lit Juniper Sunday follows, the track reminding a little of certain Bauhaus temptations but casting its own spell as keys, rhythms and horn dance with devilish temptation around Stafford’s vocal waltz. A crepuscular romance, one irresistible moment is followed by another as The Sun and The Sky casts the darkest melancholic rapture around ears and imagination amidst the contemplation leading to a final breath.
Fair to say, the album already had us enslaved by its feral charms at this point but only sparked greater addiction with next up Termite City. As dawn rises upon its urban jungle of disorientating yet invigorating activity, intrigue flourished and then erupted in greed as the track lured the imagination into a maze of textures and sound under the vocal direction and exclamation of Stafford. Again claustrophobia lines a proposal this time aligning itself with awe and distress of an impressive landscape corroded by those within; Butcher’s animated rhythms busily running its avenues.
Butcher immediately orchestrates attention and movement as next up Worst In Men erupts upon ears. The track’s swing just as greedily slipping under the skin with its weave of blues, jazz rock, and post punk whilst quickly wrapping the imagination in another irregular swarm of infectious and feral enterprise before Savannah of Havana filled the speakers with its noir bred intoxication and creeping peculiarities, the song sharing a beguiling elegy.
By the twist and turn, Bone Architecture seemed to know what personal desires and addictions in music were, all lying in wait from the album’s first breath to arouse and feed those lusts as proven yet again by the scuzz coated rocker Hide The Knives and in turn FTS with its barbarous prowl within another tale bringing the visceral emotions of a final departure upon the imagination. Both tracks beguiled in their individual anomalous ways, a glorious transgression matched by Horror Film House where fiction and reality merge within another Tartarean waltz cast by Stafford and Butcher.
Completed by a great cover of the Pink Floyd classic Arnold Layne, a warped urban punk smile of fun to encore the darker deeds before it, Bone Architecture left us basking in pleasure and drooling for more. Built on skilled simplicity and psyche burrowing temptation, the album is one of the year’s essential moments for us and we suggest for anyone with a taste for aberrant punk, jazz, garage rock and blues, actually rock in any guise.
Bone Architecture is out now via Black Lagoon Records; available @ https://harrystafford.bandcamp.com/album/bone-architecture
Pete RingMaster 30/09/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review