Born Without Bones, Dancer
Pure Noise Records
Born Without Bones are back to tug on our heartstrings. Five years on from 2017’s Young at the Bend, new album Dancer continues to embody that classic emo poeticism that we know and love. Unravelling the gauze, the alt-indies are exposing all their emotional scars, serving up a spattering of soft confessionals and jangly diary entries. While slightly softer than previous releases, Dancer is set to drown you in a haze of introspection – so prepare to sink into that warm, familiar DIY sound and croon along to some pessimistic bangers.
True to form, Dancer is defined by its sense of self-criticism. Right out the gates, Dancer thrums with an air of gentle melancholy, and that sensation is maintained throughout. Vulnerability is a key ingredient, a glorious ache etched into tracks like XO Skeleton and Don’t Speak, heavy words conflicting with the sonic, jangly-emo weightlessness. The spiteful, self-loathing cries sting, yet you can’t resist howling along to those painful proclamations of “if only I could change my XO skeleton”.
While Born Without Bones’ sound is a country-tinged combination of alt-rock and US indie punk, the classic emo feel is paramount. The lyricisms at play truly capture that early 2000s cynicism, Fistful of Bees beng a prime example of the band’s simple yet quirky imagery. The opening line says it all: “a fistful of bees and a mouthful of honey.” The band have a talent for conveying a feeling exactly, stripping back any unnecessary frills, each word razor-sharp.
Scott Ayotte’s vocal performance only heightens the punch of the words at play. Ayotte’s performance always feels authentic, the band continually sticking to their more DIY, raw approach. Get Out sees Ayotte’s voice breaking on certain howls, brittle yet passionately callous. Tracks like Heart At Home and Sudden Relief highlight the extents of Ayotte’s talents also, serving up softer, acoustic energies that still capture that bleak, exposing pessimism oh-so perfectly.
Overall, Dancer serves up a satisfying plethora of authentic, wounded bangers. The tracks on offer are slightly less diverse than previous releases, but Born Without Bones penchant for capturing unconventional vignettes of human emotion is undeniably striking. This is an album sure to make you feel – be that wistful longing or gut-wrenching loathing, Born Without Bones are here to guide you through it.
Dancer is out this Friday.