“It’s a sophomore album story you don’t hear too often: two years after a promising debut, indie act Sean Bones scored recording sessions with a well-respected industry producer (Sean Stoneback of Fucked Up, Sleigh Bells), only to take the project back into his own hands halfway through.

On Buzzards Boy, Sean Bones’ second full length (and his first with help from a producer), the decision makes a lot of sense. The production talents of Stoneback may not have been fully utilized, but his influence still lends the album a disciplined depth. If his 2010 debut Rings dipped its toes in some intriguing waters—mixing up tropical guitars, reggae beats and scrappy pop-punk—Buzzards Boy takes a grown-up jump into the deep end, committing itself to a tangibly tropical vibe. Underneath the finer production sheen, Bones sounds young, fun, and at moments, fearless.

Fluidity and versatility are two key words for this one. The breezy “Bermuda Nothin’” resembles a beachy sing-along until it whips itself into a satisfying surf-rock frenzy at its bridge, while the slow builds of “Cobra Trips” and “Black Gold” linger in broody psychedelic rock. The jubilant single “Here Now” was the last song Bones recorded to tape for the album. On that track, he channels a young Ben Kweller at his best.

Despite sonic sidetrips, Boy remains steeped in a pleasantly dense reggae groove. Think steel guitar riffs, laid-back percussion and a whole lot of “aaahs” in three-part harmonies. “Hit Me Up,” with its easy island rhythm, sneakily catchy melody and layers of strange sonic textures, might sum the album’s quirky charm up best. Undoubtedly, Buzzards Boy was dreamed up with summer in mind.”  -Paste Magazine

Categories: Past Performers