Words Alexandra Ferrier
From the murky depths of the minds of Kiel (Germany) natives Marian, Arne and Ötzi, the masterminds of Bone Man, comes Plastic Wasteland; an auditory journey into a fantasy world consisting of 1970’s psychedelic rock, fused with elements of ‘90s grunge and glorious fuzz, released on Pink Tank Records.
Following their acclaimed 2013 album II, the three-piece deliver an impeccable recording that, quite literally, casts you into a dreamlike state. It’s a delicious exploration into the combination of genres forementioned, swirling between the various foundations with ease and grace. Opening track Plastic Wasteland sets the tone for what is to be expected in terms of technique from each member of the band; absolute fine form. Marian’s guitar technique is impeccable, his vocals warm and encompassing yet fiercely independent atop of Ötzi’s drumming and Arne’s bass. It’s within this track that you sense a grunge influence and yet you feel like you’re somehow travelling backwards through time, especially with the following track Wayfaring, an exploration into psychedelic riffs that are smothered in fuzz and evoke fantasy images of open oceans, a love yearned and a triumphant return.
This album stems much further than simply a combination of sub genres moulded into a full length release. It runs much deeper than this; chord progressions, the structure of each song, the melodies and the emotion that these tracks conjure within the listener are incredibly complex and, quite simply, stunning. Upon the first listen of stand-out tracks, like Undergrowth and Graveyards, there are points where Marian’s vocals felt almost unnecessary and the music is quite capable of standing alone. Yet with each exposure comes the realisation of just how significant the vocals and harrowing lyrics are in conjuring feeling, another instrument tying together each song like an anchor and preventing you from falling into an abyss. Flesh Land and Undergrowth close the album much like how it begun; affirming. Bone Man doesn’t mess around. It’s a glorious return to reality.
This album is an emotional journey. I thoroughly recommend you don’t try to dictate the terms and on which path you travel with it. It will take you where you need to go, whether you’re conscious of that or not. No doubt packing their bags to embark on their massive upcoming European tour, Bone Man are a trio to look out for. If you’re on the Bone Man path, you will enjoy this album immensely. If you’re dipping your toes into their pool for the first time, take my hand, we’ll dive together.