Thirty Pounds of Bone – The Taxidermist

A superb set of open-handed songs that with massive choruses and classic alt-rock arrangements that wouldn't be out of place on a Traffic LP like John Barleycorn.


A brilliant LP; and one that may come as a bit of an eye opener.  On this evidence Thirty Pounds of Bone seems to have jettisoned his kerbside spikiness, or pawned it (probably temporarilly) for a reflective, poppy sound that noids to Diagrams, ESP, and British Sea Power's more soulful releases. In fact there's this soulboy undercurrent that has something of the Small Faces in it. Before I'm Done and All Your Sons are coated in the sort of bleached-out, Psych-Moddish 60s organ & fuzz wash that you hear on your Rubble LPs. Bloody hell.

Maybe Johnny Lamb has overturned his approach to gain a clearer view where his music is. It does sound like an LP that is being driven from the back seat. Of the opening three tracks, only the sharp Birds in the Brine has any connection with what went before. His way with a melody is still there for all to hear though; maybe he's just got bored of hiding it or subverting it in that slightly pugnacious way he had. Pasganger sounds like his old stuff too; albeit electrified to an inch of its life.

Regardless of all my expostulating and hypothesizing; what you have here is a superb set of open-handed, ever so slightly bitter-sweet (maybe bitter) songs that with massive choruses and brilliant, classic alt-rock arrangements that wouldn't be out of place on a Traffic LP like John Barleycorn... Now and again the record kicks off and starts sounding like chartbound rock (The Expelled threatens to do so until it's over; far too soon in my opinion).

We live in a world full of micro-shaved teenage Daleks winning music awards, and talented seers who can't scrape enough together to buy a sarnie from Waitrose. I suspect aka Johnny Lamb, is one of the latter. Ridiculous.