Midlands two-piece Bone Cult formed out of their shared dissatisfaction with seeing “countless guitar bands jamming rock music in their pub clothes.” And it’s fair to say they’ve well and truly bucked that trend.
The Nottingham duo fuse rock music with electronic production in a bid to break the conventions and defy expectations. The result is a sound they define as “death electronica” and that they describe as “liquid, diverse and unexpected.”
As they put it: “The sound of two men who are sick of listening to the same old shit. Mostly fast. Sometimes mellow. It’s probably not what a band called Bone Cult should sound like. Imagine break beats, synths that sound like guitars, and vocals that sound like synths.”
Having started out as a guitar and drums outfit, the duo soon evolved by using technology to create intriguing new sounds. And the most recent offering of this is their debut album Death Electronica, which was released at the end of last month.
From it, the first track we heard was Cruel, which is about as close to a traditional “rock song” that Bone Cult gets. It opens up with a little guitar riff over electronic noises then bursts into heavier guitars over electronic drums. It feeds into a lighter verse of laid-back vocals over largely electronic instrumentals.
The pace drops down a little before a little spinning synth sounds build up to an atmospheric chorus led by the mellow vocals “And you’re so cruel, And we all knew, Now you’re trying to hide but you’ve blown your disguise, And you’re so cruel, And we all knew, Don’t you try to pretend you’re a liar to the end.” Check it out in the cool video below:
But the more electro rock edge to the band comes across in the album’s opener Realise, which opens with electronic noise then a huge effects ridden riff over electronic drums. Echoey vocals take over with drums and cool synth sounds, then drops into the opening instrumentals. Check it out in the video below:
And if you like big fat electronic tones then you’ll love the sound of the latest single to come from the album, Feed On You. High-pitched noises build up with rapid drums and drop into a booming sound that feeds into electronic noises under a verse of echoey vocals. But the big booming riff returns to take us into a big atmospheric chorus. Check it out below:
While there’s a heavier edge to the delicious Fragments, which kicks off with a bit of an EDM edge then drops into a heavy guitar riff laced with electronic twists. It suddenly drops into a light electronic tone with fuzzy background noises then a laid-back drumbeat under distant vocals. Check it out here:
Fragments effectively sums up everything that you should expect from Bone Cult. The band is certainly different to anything we’ve heard recently, with an intriguing combination of rock and various electronic influences that’s undeniably heavy and groovy while being mellow and laid-back.
On the EP, they told us: “The reception has been mostly positive. We knew that the music would divide opinion as it doesn’t conform to trends which are being followed in either rock or electronic music. It falls in the middle of both camps and you can’t please everyone, but then, we’re not trying to.”
One very cool thing the guys have done with the album is made it available to stream in full on their YouTube channel, supported by various visual graphics. Check it out here:
The duo take huge inspiration from The Prodigy and other genre-bending bands like Death From Above 1979, Enter Shikari, Daft Punk and Slipknot to fuel their vast, vivid spectrum of sounds. As they explain: The Prodigy for sure. They blended electronic music with alternative music better than anyone before them.
“Death Grips for the sheer aggression of what was capable from their stripped back set up. Justice and other French electro artists (Daft Punk, SebastiAn) also had an influence, it sounded completely original to us and had the energy of a rock band instead of vapid EDM.”
While on their musical inspiration, they tell us: “The lyrics are loose and cryptic. It’s part inspired by our own experiences but mostly we’re just voicing a mood. People can find their own meaning in the songs. It’s best not to take them too literally. It’s another world that we want people to explore rather than a bland reflection of reality.”
There’s plenty more to come from Bone Cult despite the ongoing situation. As they tell us: “No live shows for the foreseeable future like everyone else at this point. Following Canada at the end of 2019, we met some contacts in Australia and had an Australia tour in the works for the end of this year which will probably be postponed until 2021 or 2022.
“We’ve decided to capitalise on the situation being stuck at home and write a follow up to the album in the next few months and keep making music videos.”
And, when we’re finally able to go out and watch live music again, consider popping Bone Cult at the very top of your to-see list. As they say: “We never play the same set twice, the best way to experience the band is to come see it for yourself.”