Saturday 22 August 2015

Bone Man - Shapeshifters (EP Review)

Release date: Sept 03rd 2015. Label: Pink Tank Records Formats: CD/DD

Shapeshifters: Tracklisting

1 Shapeshifter
2 Bad Fashion
3 The Wicker Man
4 Desert
5 Interlude
6 Supernova
7 Heliopolis
8 Into the Green

Band Members:

Marian: Guitars,Voc,Synth
Ötzi: Drums
Arne: Bass


Bone Man are possibly the breakout stars currently on ace record label – Pink Tank Records. They released a stunning album in 2014 with Plastic Wasteland struck a chord with fans and reviewers alike. Bone Man's blend of Psychedelic Stoner/Grunge/Fuzz has seen there stock rise considerably over the last couple of years or so.

Now Pink Tank Records are going back to the Bone Man archives and releasing their debut EP – Shapeshifter – from 2011. So what do you get with 2015's version of Shapeshifter. It sees Bone Man starting to create their distinctive sound. Opening track – Shapeshifter – is a Stoner/Grunge/Fuzz hybrid with trippy vocals to match. 90's style grunge is spliced with heavy psychedelic stoner riffs with Bone Man impressing from the start.

Second track – Bad Fashion – is a more noise rock kind of affair with the grungier aspects starting to create a loud and violent atmosphere. The fuzz based nature of the album becomes almost violent with Bone Man showing people of their huge potential all those years ago. The vocals can be described as bombastic at times though it fits with the tone and structure of the song. The guitars have enough power and precision to keep all serious Stoners happy all day long.

Third track – Wicker Man – has a slight folk rock feel. I don't know why but this song reminds me of Jethro Tull. The stoner riffs have been replaced by a more laid-back vibe. It's a song I don't have much time for I'm afraid. It doesn't really go anywhere but Bone Man have always been about experimentation.

Thank Christ, the band return to their heavier musical roots on the 4th song – Desert. A thumping number with an undeniable Punk Rock driven energy. The vocals may take some getting used to but they manage to get Shapeshifter back to hard-rocking territory.

Fifth track – Interlude – is just that. A 90 second Stoner/Acoustic/Synth odyssey which gives the band time to venture into almost post-rock theatrics. It's a nice soothing piece with a few doom and gloom moments before it suddenly ends.

Sixth track – Supernova – sees Bone Man unleash the EP's strongest track. A stunning mix of slow-paced grunge riffs and the faster style Psych Stoner Rock we've grown accustomed to over the last few years. It's an exciting ride from start to finish.

The EP's final two track – Heliopolis and Into The Green – which I think is from their 2009 demo album. It's good to hear some older material from Bone Man as these two songs are the heaviest songs on the EP. Expect more Psych Rock driven Stoner Rock madness played with a burning passion.

My final thoughts on Shapeshifter is that's a great record for Pink Tank Records and Bone Man to release. For newer fans of Bone Man this is an essential release to add to their Bone Man record collection. For established fans, it maybe best waiting for the next album to be released as there's no new material as such. Unless you want the awesome shiny vinyl record courtesy of my good pal Jan at Pink Tank Records. So go and buy it when it's released.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Jan at Pink Tank Records for the promo. Shapeshifters will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Pink Tank Records from September 3rd 2015.