Bones UK arrived at the BMI stage Saturday afternoon with two noisy guitars and stories to tell.
Singer Rosie Bones described their origins in London’s Camden neighborhood, “where vampires go to drink whiskey” — and the time a guy reportedly told Bones and lead guitarist Carmen Vandenberg that girls are “biologically inferior” when it comes to playing guitar. The anecdote led-in to the bluesy, technical crowd-stirrer, “Girls Can’t Play Guitar.”
The three-piece band is rounded out by drummer Heavy, and tackles issues of gender and identity with jarring and often literal wordplay. Bones doesn’t mince words — there’s no time for metaphors when you’re pushing back against tyranny. Sonically, the message’s medium comes via familiar hard rock stripped down to its classic settings.
But it’s also fun.
“Austin, you’re about to get boned,” Bones said before “Filthy Freaks,” a horny song also about “glamorous geeks.”
Rosie’s onstage preamble to “Beautiful Is Boring” was candid and clear: “Basically man, it’s like (there’s) no way for us to be beautiful in this society without being perfect. ... We kinda like to think it’s people’s imperfections that make them beautiful.”
There was a gnarly and churning David Bowie cover of that industrial Trent Reznor collab from the ‘90s, “I’m Afraid Of Americans.” It came with a friendly hedge from Bones: “You guys all seem really nice and not so scary.” The 2019 version was agoraphobic, frenetic and grimy as heck.
The band’s self-titled debut landed in July and ACL Fest proved a testing space for the maiden voyage of its deeper cuts. Full steam ahead.
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