August 7, 2019 The Contortionist – Our Bones (EP Review)
It is said that happiness is a state of mind, one that you have to have to experience life to the fullest. Between the upside and bright moments of life there is the sadness and loss, but every experience is part of the endless change and evolution of life. Pondering these thoughts, with their newest EP, Our Bones, Progressive Metal act The Contortionist expresses the nuances of experience and life through the eyes of themselves as well as their fans.
Set for release on Friday August 9th via Entertainment One, Our Bones marks the band’s first release since their 2017 album Clairvoyant. Mixed/mastered by longtime collaborator Jamie King, it consists of four tracks beginning with “Follow.” Opening with a bright, stirring riff that ebbs and flows, gorgeous clean vocals ring out, all while the drums crash and clang brightly, anchoring the background of the track. This all makes the start to Our Bones an eclectic experience with ever-changing rhythms and diverse vocal styles, which makes for an engrossing introductory track.
Meanwhile, the bass line of “Early Grave” vacillates between pockets of repetitive strumming and transient melodies that dance across the sphere of the song. However, there does exist a delicate reprieve composed of acoustic guitar beneath evocative, vesper-like singing. Ultimately, the song rises again with a declaration of “You’re more than an early grave,” before transcending into the concluding riff.
Next, “All Grey” is a dainty and fleeting track with airy piano backing, acoustic guitar picking, and intimate vocals. Then, The Contortionist closes out the EP with a cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ 1995 smash hit single, “1979.” Here, the track carries a deeper, fuller sound emblazoned across its body, resulting in a somewhat Pop-like rendering of the beloved Alternative favorite. So, while the instruments sound very similar to the original track, and understandably so, in some areas The Contortionist delivers a charm all their own. In fact, the vocals are what truly set it apart from the original, as they are lucid and filled with a weightless depth and uncomplicated by life.
Throughout Our Bones, The Contortionist have woven a solid message for those willing and eager to hear it. While each song stands well on its own, there is no room wasted on filler tracks or useless silence, created an album that is chock full of killer new material. With an impressive eclecticism and exceptionally unique vocal deliveries, this is one EP that is guaranteed to make its listeners hungry for more. Ready for a full-length, Cryptic Rock gives Our Bones 5 out of 5 stars.