I’m holding out for a hero. Someone to walk tall and vanquish the Morlocks. Or at least be a Scottish band that doesn’t trip over its second rate influences. Thirty Pounds of Bone, with their album “I Cannot Sing You Here But Songs of Where” seem, on the surface, to be such a band.
“I Cannot Sing You Here But Songs of Where” does, in addition, seem to be something of a concept album and, indeed, one of a very personal nature to its creator, Johny Lamb. Melancholia is the blood that flows through these songs all the way from “Veesik for the Broch” to the “Wolf on the Shelf” and you would be drawn to thinking that this album is what Tom Waits would sound like if he had decided to play a sea shanty to the Samaritans.
So, musically Thirty Pounds of Bone are clearly heading in the right, if undeniably bleak, direction. Technically, however, things are less likely to impress. There is not one song where you are not made acutely aware of the limitations of Johny Lamb’s voice and while It might of course, be a deliberately deadpan stylistic thing, I think that would be an unduly generous assumption.
The end result, therefore seems more like unconvincing self-indulgence than as serious attempt to create something of lasting musical value. I am, once more, disappointed.