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If your only exposure to Sydney’s Bare Bones is Thick As Thieves, the first cut off the new album “Bad Habits”, you wouldn’t be blamed for being sceptical about the media touting the five-piece as the “next big thing”. The album opens with a lot of energy, killer production and damn good songwriting, but nothing that is going to blow you away.

However, if you’ve ever nodded your head to PUP, licked your wounds after an Everytime I Die show or wondered what the hell happened to Kettle Cadaver, you’re guaranteed to be on board with the band before the album is over.

Bare Bones are a lot of filth and fury, but there is more to them than that. Ravensberg has a satisfying amount of melody to keep the song plummeting along, while Skeleton Key slithers with crunchy n’ punchy riffs that remind you this isn’t music for the masses. Vocalist Tom Kennedy’s performance bounces between melodic harmonies and what I can only imagine is the sound of gargling razors.

Post-hardcore diehards won’t be disappointed, with tunes like Strange Brew towing the line, but there’s enough variance in the band’s approach to leads, melodies and song structure to keep metalheads and rock n’ rollers interested. It’d be wrong to say Bare Bones are a melting pot of influences, but there are certainly plenty of surprises, despite the band sounding pretty uniform on first listen.

“Bad Habits” is the result of a band fine-tuning their craft and introducing just enough influences to make them stand out from the crowd without disrupting their integrity. As the tortured, moody vocals of Copper In The Cast (contrasted by a straight up rocking beat) closes the record, Bare Bones solidify themselves as a band to watch out for over the next few years.

“Bad Habits” is out 19 May through Resist Records.

3.5/5 Stars

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