Throughout their decade-long career, mainstream success seems to have eluded Meligrove Band. Their tendency to push past the comfortable confines of pop takes listeners into a world of experimental, prog-rock, surf, and psychedelic. Despite their digression into multiple genres of music, Meligrove Band’s overall pop aesthetic is magnetic. On their latest album Bones Of Things, they’ve followed their tradition of crafting songs with uppity, clever hooks that dare to get little weird.
Bones Of Things is predictably unpredictable. Woven with prog-rock, surf, and folk-pop, it’s the kind of album that only Meligrove Band could make, staying true to their trademark shout-singing, using ample amounts of electric guitar, and rhythmic rock piano.
The many paths the songs on Bones of Things takes is both surprising and unsurprising all at once. The introduction on “I Do” is reminiscent of early Tokyo Police Club – à la “Nature of the Experiment” – but it takes on a surf direction with bouncy bass and doo-wop backup vocals. The opening track “Ichi Ni” is an infectious prog-rock song with a hyperactive hook. The sonic journey doesn’t end there; “Bones of Things,” and “Sunrise Old” are folk-pop songs that remind me of the better parts of Said the Whale’s music, mostly because of the drumming style, and the strumming patterns on the ukulele and mandolin. The beauty of Bones Of Things is that Meligrove Band’s multi-genre approach somehow remains cohesive.
Bones Of Things proves that, time and time again, Meligrove Band is able to experiment with music and successfully make it their own. Their ability to fuse different styles of rock into their Meligrove brand is simply good musicianship. If there is a difference between Bones Of Things and Meligrove Band’s previous albums, it’s that each song maintains a character rather than diverging in different directions mid-song. Whether or not this is for the better is up to listeners to decide.
Bones Of Things is pyrotechnic. It’s explosive and all over the place, consistently unpredictable, “out there”, and artful.
Top Tracks: “Ichi Ni”; “Bones Of Things”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent)