Bone Zeno: Black Milk
LP | CD | DL
Release date September 29th 2017
Bone Zeno builds on years of solid musical grounding with debut album release Black Milk; an infusion that remains true to punk blues sensibilities, combined with intense depth-charged metal tones. Bryony Hegarty reviews.
Sloughing of erstwhile moniker D-66, Bone Zeno combines Berlin Krautrock, Avant-garde inspirations and Teutonic edged vocal with primal, tangible demeanour. As an artist he sums up the complexities of music noise and frenzied stimuli, reaching at times into dark mental recesses. The result is troubled yet rousing and delivered with a dose of humour; an art rock baroque frenzy.
Track one ‘2 THE BONE’ (the first song he ever wrote) is a murky, angry London centric ‘anti-waltz’ with playful caricaturing. Zeno dives straight in, clarions calling, steely vocal and driving guitar; a pulsing urban nightmare of Dickensian proportions. On punk metal ‘U FUCK ME’ the mood gets angrier, leading through fraught guitar to ‘ÄSHEN SKIN (Black Milk)’ a ritualistic reflection mourning the loss of a friend through overdose. Rough-hewn grief-tinged lyrics, are accompanied with compelling fraught tension, anchoring rhythm and echo chamber effect.
There’s a swing back to terra firma for resistance anthem, ‘RIDE ON’. This portrait of the artist’s father, emerges in fighting spirit. Fleeting, eerie piano keys dance across the gritty pathways of the tune. Rocking out on ‘GET ME DOWN’ Zeno’s rousing deep tones, push resistance blues with vibrant, vital, fight and fire. ‘DRINK’ is his Bukowskian mantra of darkness, building humorous characterisations and evoking the relentless tyranny of chaos. A frenzied mash up of ‘the perfect instruction for total self–destruction’. ‘BLACK BONES’ delivers grunge, performance-art, even glam rock flamboyancy.
‘DIRT ROAD’ swaggers forth, Zeno proclaiming in a radical application of heartfelt Billie Holiday lyrics: ‘love me or leave me I’d rather be lonely than happy with some else’. Riffs build from the depths to quirky, playful fade out. On ‘NICKedGOD’, discombobulation abounds from performance art opening, progressing rapidly to scream therapy with iron man footsteps and expletive narrative. A hammer-pounding percussion to discordant meltdown, ending the soundscape. ‘CAROLINE’ routes back via an intense, adrenaline-pumped racing rhythmic swing-back. ‘BLEED’ brings an amphetamine fuelled blues finale. Brusque, fired up, purging, full of personality. A comedic mis-synchronisation of sentiment and raucous instrumentation ends with wry magnanimity “I forgive you all of my sins“.
A raucous but pleasing assault on the ears.
Bone Zeno Live UK dates:
5th King Charles I, King’s Cross, London, N1 9BL
6th Gunners, London, N5 1EN
7th Railway Tavern, Southend, SS1 1AJ
You can find Bone Zeno on facebook.com/BONEZENO
All words by Bryony Hegarty. More writing can be found at her Author Archive