Bermuda Mohawk (2008)
This took a few tries. Lower Bounds by Only Thunder didn’t exactly impress me on the first few listens to be honest. And while I still don’t think it’s fantastic, after a while it started to grow on me, particularly around the halfway point. The songs before that, honestly, didn’t do much for me, having potential in there but missing something that made them sound totally unique and jaw-dropping.
And yet, the latter half of this album (after the totally hypnotic and fantastic instrumental “I’m A Witch, Burn Me”) is really great. Those songs are where I hear them taking some real big risks in terms of the music they write, and I just don’t hear the almost blatant Hot Water Music, Fugazi, and Quicksand-like musical influences set to a different set of vocals. If anything the whole thing builds up from start to finish in a rising and interesting wave that ends far more powerfully than it starts, not just musically but lyrically too. I don’t know if it’s on purpose, but it definitely works.
The fact that there wasn’t the incessant guitar overkill that music school graduates in hardcore and punk seem to enjoy throwing in to highlight the Malmsteen records in their collection really meant somethign to me, because it really could have gone there with this. But it didn’t, it danced right on that edge, something that’s hard to do when you’re playing with more intricacy that the usual 3- or 4-chord songs that the genre’s best at.
So despite a somewhat weak start, I’m gonna say that while you shouldn’t waste bail money on this record, use your crack/rent/hooker/child support money instead.