by Thomas Bedward August 23, 2021
We’ve had our eyes firmly fixed on Blackpool’s Strange Bones ever since lead single ‘England Screams’ dropped back in May. An abrasive, brash, and unmistakable single, it set a fire that has burnt ever since, enduring the four-month wait between that crushing track and the eventual release of the full record, and now that it's here, it’s absolutely undeniable.
A titanic release that hits hard and then keeps on hitting, ‘England Screams’ is filled with venom and not shy about it, charging into focus with a raucous, unhinged, and cataclysmic sound. A family affair, the album is perfectly built on the talents of gritty frontman Bobby Bentham and his brothers, Jack and Will, alongside close friend Spud Newburn, who join forces to deliver one of the heaviest albums of the year.
Opening with ‘Jungle’, a snarling arc of growling guitar riffs and bold, distorted electronica, the album begins steeped in chaos, brutality, and coarse, explosive sounds. It’s an unforgiving style that the band stick to over the course of the twelve tracks, and it works perfectly, delivering adrenaline-filled brilliance time and time again. Highlights abound throughout, and tracks like ‘Menace’, ‘Deathwish’, and ‘Snakepit’ hit with a relentless wave of scathing, sonic debauchery and untameable swagger.
A ferocious call to arms that blurs the lines between punk, trap and electronica, Strange Bones’ debut record hits the mark in every possible way, and the inclusion of several guest spots serves only to heighten the incendiary value. Featuring Bob Vylan and Indian rap force PAV4N, the band shines a light on the cultural mash-up of their homeland, and its absolute perfection, cutting through the harsh bleakness of the album, if only for a few moments.
A tantalising show of what the band can achieve, ‘England Screams’ is everything that we’ve been expecting; an album that sets its own pace, unapologetically break boundaries, and never lets up. In short, it’s the kind of album that modern music has been waiting for, and now that it’s here, there’s no turning back.
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