Amid the bust-ups, break-ups and the odd lacklustre album, today’s rock fans are entitled to scratch their heads and ask – just like B.R.M.C – “Whatever happened to my rock ‘n’ roll?” Plus, that’s not even considering the multitude of other groups that – like the odd, doomed relationship – are “on a break”. But listeners shouldn’t fear, because Magic Bones are a relatively new force that look poised to change all that jazz.

The Melbourne quartet’s eponymous debut EP sounds like it was recorded on tour – in motels, bathrooms, bedrooms and closets. Except that what went on during this particular one isn’t going to stay put. Instead, there’s plenty of beefy rock numbers with loads of retro twists and turns – think 60s garage, 70s psychedelia and even Americana and country have been thrown into this melting pot.

Just when you try to pin them down or box them in one genre or direction, they go veering off into another zany one. Like a gift that keeps on giving or a pass-the-parcel straight outta the 60s, this one offers dirty power chords aplenty, big rock hooks, crashing cymbals and lots of thudding bass.

The band’s talented multi-instrumentalists, Richard Bowers and Dylan Thorpe share vocal duties and on opener, “Space Between Us” we see one sounding a lot like a young Ian Curtis circa Warsaw. Musically it’s a rollicking, rock single that drives straight to your heart and soul with lyrics like: “I want to feel your little piece of soul melting into mine”.

“Devil’s Spawn” sees plenty of dirty, old school rock at its best. At times it sounds a little like Wolfmother who in turn were evoking everyone from Zeppelin to Sabbath et al. The following, “How Long?” is different yet again. On the first listen I hear sexy American-themed bounce like the theme song to True Blood while at other moments it’s the kind of thing you just wanna crank loud because there’s everyone from Deep Purple to Steppenwolf inspiring the guitars up the back.

There is the spaced out, “Gouge Out A View” before it’s all driven home with “So Long, Carry On,” a softer more atmospheric tune. It is hand-clappingly good and boasts a little bit of starry-eyed, country swagger. It almost seems custom-built for rolling around in haystacks under the stars.

Magic Bones boasts deep vocals, distortion and so many curveballs that the last few lobbed ones wound up in completely different ballpark. With a backbone solidly rooted in rock, you can imagine there will be plenty of listeners who will fervently draw maps and get lost in the abundance of interesting sounds. Or for those that want things a little simpler, they can play it loud as they burn down the highway along route 66 to the Stairway to Heaven that goes via the Haight-Ashbury, Monterey and Woodstock. One things for sure, this is bound to tickle your musical bones much more than any childish magic trick…

Originally published on 17 April 2012 at the following website: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/32277/Magic-Bones–Magic-Bones-EP

Visit Fasterlouder’s homepage at: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/

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