CD reviews: Boneyard Circus, indie sampler, 3-CD DJ set

Posted at 03/30/14 2:05 PM

Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus
"The Great Fall Onto Madness"

Equal parts Pink Floyd, Korn and the Beatles, the new album from Pinoy steampunk pioneers Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus uses dynamics and atmosphere in ways other bands can’t even imagine. The first two tracks start rather slowly as if teasing the listener as to what the album title means, then the next 12 songs pull out all the stops in an avalanche of intriguing lyrics and opulent sounds worthy of a grand theatrical production.

Each song is a like a page off an Edgar Allan Poe story, only this time set to music. Passages tell of hallucinations, death and murder, and a nightmarish revision of The Pieta in “Crooked Faces.” “Victoria’s Child” could be “Eleanor Rigby” reworked as a Gothic tale of romance. “Shadows in My Room” and “Watch the World Burn” are epic in length and scope while an untitled instrumental piece is bedeviled by shrieks and screeches from bats out of hell.

Halfway through the album, lead vocalist Bones Frankenstein admonishes, “Just sit back and watch the world burn.” It’s an uneasy counsel because Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus move on to more beautiful unrest.

Who knew that going mad can be as dramatic, thrilling and magnificent as this? It’s only March and already, here’s a definite contender for top album of 2014 honors!


Various Artists
"Kami Naman (Music Sampler)"

Ten original compositions by five aspiring indie artists make up this compilation put together by Jeffrey Yumol under his own indie label, Downorth Musique. Jeffrey has already released four albums under his own label and he discovered the other four acts during a Songwriters’ Night at Conspiracy Bar in Quezon City.

Pikoy opens the album with the pop-rocking “Go” and five tracks later, her self-penned “Ang Feeling Mo” shouts out an angrier, funnier put-down. Khael starts with a quietly moving “Tameme” but it’s his other contribution, “Tsinelas,” that has all the marks of a future acoustic classic.

Noveno and label impresario Jeffrey Yumol are R&B-loving rappers. Jeffrey’s “My Girl,” featuring Laurice, is a piece out of Gloc -9’s songbook.

Paula Alcasid is a nurse by profession and her song “Antibiotic” makes lenient allusions to anti-viral meds to put off love’s advances. Her second song, “Storm,” is an upbeat pop number set against the onset of a typhoon.

Each featured artist will soon release a full album of original materials. For now, Kami Naman poses the challenge: “Hoy, Kami Naman pakinggan nyo! Kami Naman suportahan nyo.”

The sampler is available in physical and digital format via www.downorth.tk/store.


Various Artists

An overview of the best of 2013, VIP DJ boasts of stellar tracks from David Guetta, afrojack, Zedd, Disclosure and Swedish House Mafia, among 50 others. One can look forward to the potent remix of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Zedd’s “Clarity” remixed by Tiesto, Lana del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” (Cedric Gervais remix) and avicii’s genre-bending mixes of “Wake Me Up” and “Levels.” Both mainstream club music and newer stuffs that are predicted to go big this year leave their footprints on this overstuffed 3-CD compilation.


Barbra Streisand
"Back to Brooklyn"

“Songbird” Streisand did a two-night stand at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in 2012. Her special guests were trumpeter Chris Botti and her son Jason Gould who performed solo and in a duet with his mother in a superlative version of Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is the Ocean” popularized by Frank Sinatra.

Streisand’s repertoire was a mix of standards, materials from the early part of her career and selections from her more recent albums. Some of them she performed live for the first time and others featured new arrangements to make the songs sound brand new.

Barbra sang for two hours in each show and it’s a wonder her voice remained warm and lustrous through the high and low registers of her chosen materials.

The magic of studio technology? No way. Streisand, now 71 years old, rarely performs so it would be more like the case of a classic voice that gets better with age.