Junk Bonds - Eponymous
for the Trash Heap
a critic, one hates to trash new artists. One always hopes
to hear the next big thing first and write a good review to
send them on their way to stardom. Even if the artist isn't
great, one hopes to find something notable about their sound
which might help them survive in the rough world of the music
one also has to be honest about what one hears, and in the
case of this Brooklyn, New York rock band, it isn't good at
all. The band described itself best when it put the word "junk"
in the band name.
is a trio fronted by Bob Warren on guitars, vocals and harmonica
and joined by Tim Lane on bass and Wojciech "Jeremy" Zalewski
on drums. Warren has a most annoying constant whiny vibrato
in his voice which makes one cringe when hearing it, although
it does get somewhat easier to handle upon repeated listening
when one is prepared for it. If you've heard Jim Breuer do
his Goat Boy character on Saturday Night Live, you can start
to imagine how revolting Warren's voice is.
who wrote all five songs on this mercifully-short EP, also
plays harmonica as badly as Alanis Morissette, which turns
one off even more, but he doesn't have Alanis's attitude and
songwriting ability to make up for it. The only thing that
prevents this EP from being a complete bomb are the funky
grooves laid down by Lane and Zalewski on the first three
tracks. Some good advice for the two of them would be to ditch
Warren and form a new band with a singer who doesn't sound
like he recorded his vocals while riding over a cobblestone
road in an old car with no shock absorbers.
the mix morbid lyrics about death and drunkenness on tracks
like "Ready For The Box", and you have a truly unbearable
piece of work. The last two songs, which feature only Warren
with his voice, his harmonica, and his acoustic guitar are
farm-animal type voice is put to ironic use in the song "Back
On The Farm", which seems to be a celebration of the lifestyle
of a country farmer. However, the song also sounds like a
parody of farmers when it ends with Warren's "hee-haw!" shout.
The message of that song is completely contradicted by the
next and final track, "Move To New York", in which Warren
pleads with his lover to move to New York because he doesn't
want to go back to the farm.
many forced listenings, one still is not sure if this EP is
intended to be humorous or not. Are these real Midwesterners
who have moved to Brooklyn in search of their big break, or
are these just some New York kids who decided to record some
songs that make fun of country "hicks" and the stereotypes
which are associated to them? If this is an honest effort,
it's just sadly inadequate. If this is a joke, then the Junk
Bonds deserve to be heckled endlessly by the very people they
made fun of, along with the honest young musicians they robbed
precious studio time and space from.
can hope for because they certainly aren't good enough yet
to be a headliner in anything bigger than a small club.
screams average, but it rocks sufficiently enough. If you
want to shut out the world and indulge your Freudian "id"
by rocking out in a loud and unsophisticated way, go ahead
and crank it up. If you're looking for musical depth and intelligence,
don't waste your time with this CD. Trash it.