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Death of a Prizefighter by Bone Box

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Reviewed on 15th November 2006.


Death of a Prizefighter

By Bone Box

Umm, this is brilliant. This kind of music not being played on Radio 1 is what is wrong with the world. Part classical, part country, part bizarre bastardisation of jazz and The Pogues, it is superb. A big part of its brilliance is that for most of the time it's that kind of music where you're not really sure what's going on, but you know what you like and this is it. Eerie and rich, every song on the album is something that will provoke some sort of emotion and response in you whether that be elation, hope, melancholy or fury at the 'what the fuck?' of it all. Bone Box not only manage to reach originality; they smack of it. I wish I had the energy to rant on about every song on the album and believe me, I really could but nobody would read the whole review. So here's a selection:

'Talking Christ Down off the Cross' is a lament to someone called Joe who sounds reasonably troubled. The song however is perfect. Beautiful, bluesy, country and sad, it is full of sadness and lazy meandering fiddles that make you want to take deep breaths and recline, this is poetry.

'The Devil is in the Detail' belongs in a movie called Mexican Stand Off, full of dark men doing dark deeds. It is sexual and guttural and seems deadly serious in the story it tells. Amazing.

'St Jay's Infirmary' flips from crawling-in-the-sewers blue to flying-high hopeful throughout. This too feels Mexican and somewhat filthy. Full of aching guitars and shining horns, played so perfectly and with so much emotion that I feel wretched about my guitar, gathering dust in my bedroom; because it deserves to be played like this.

For me, the real stand out track is 'Do You Feel Like You've Been Warned' for no other reason other than it made me ache and I don't remember the last time I listened to something new and it literally made my soul ache. Which is so corny and sentimental that I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it's true and when I'm finished writing I'm going to out it on again and cry all over my cigarettes and tea.

Slap bang in the middle of the album is 'All My Problems Are Caused By Some Else'. I couldn't even begin to tell you what this is. Computerised jazz maybe? A warm up before a gig and someone recorded it and got kamikaze in their iMac? Who knows, listen to it yourself and email me with a definition if you like. God knows how they came up with the title, it doesn't have any lyrics.

Towards the last tracks you could begin to tire of the darkness and the gravely vocals and the emotion and poetry and witticisms but the last track 'Toasting the God of Tasteless Living' is just what you need, it has a 'throw your partner round the barn and stop shaving too' vibe. It really is just swell.

I think at the root of the charm of Bone Box is Jay Taylor's voice. Which is somewhere in the realms of Joe Cocker, Shane Macgowan and The Big Bad Wolf. This is the only voice that could deliver these songs and not sound trite or demented. If Lucifer could sing, this is what I believe he'd sound like, although obviously not so utterly charming as Mr Taylor.

You get the picture, it's strange and amazing and heart warming and heart breaking and wonderful. And on iTunes and I think you should get it. Today.



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On 15th November 2006 at 23:59 Anonymous 6038 wrote...

This is an excellent review.



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