Bonefire is one of those bands that I saw once and instantly fell in love with. Their intensity and in your face attitude is something that most bands just don’t have anymore but they had it and it created a monster inside of me. With vocalist Ben “Schism” Jimmick unafraid to get up in the crowd and push people around, their live show is one that has stuck in my mind and every time I get to see them perform it’s an absolute treat.
Their “Murderapolis” album kicks off with a bang with opening track “Shattered Mirrors”. The way it starts with just a single guitar note being held as the fast almost grindcore-esque drums kick in is the perfect way to start this album off. The vocals instantly join in next to shredding guitars creating a sense of energy that some albums and bands never quite get to. With obvious nods to the greats of the metal and punk scenes gone by, there are clear influences of the past that are seamlessly combined with a more modern vibe. The lyrics of this song seem to counter the intensity that comes across in the music. With lyrics like “Never be sad for what is over” and the ending line of “You only have control over yourself”, it was impossible to not fall in love with this band all over again when listening to this opening track.
A little less optimistic as far as lyrics go, the second track “Forever Ends” sticks with the sincere intensity that was laid out in the first song. With a bit more of a trashy edge to it, the guitars seem to reign supreme throughout this song as they chug for the entire three and a half minute song. That trashiness is instantly replaced by an old-school punk sound for “Numb-er & Dumber”. Fast and in your face, “Numb-er & Dumber” has lyrics pertaining to social media and people’s ten seconds of fame that are over “with the next scroll”. Their sound may be old school but their lyrics are not. Again, that’s part of the magic of this band. They are unique in the way they blend the worlds and old and new and it keeps this album feeling fresh.
Songs are short on this album averaging around two and a half minutes each but that’s the way it should be. The quick pace of each song would be overwhelming if any longer than that and it’s clear that the band has edited these songs down to perfection. Ben’s lyrics take a front seat in “Isolated” but there’s no ignoring Chris “Joker” Holtz’s guitars that still create a constant sense of motion alongside the bass played by Todd “Gags” Galione” and Derek “Sid” Klingeman’s dizzying drumming. “Isolated” ends without any warning leading me to play the track over and over again.
Although nothing changes musically, the lyrics of “Isolated” have a sense of sensitivity unlike the rest of the album. “As I exit stage left/ sitting here crying”. I mean, these guys don’t come off as the type of guys to be crying in a corner and the metal/punk scene is not a scene where you typically talk about that kind of stuff but the fact that they do and even put it on an album adds a side to this band that I wish more bands didn’t try to hide.
“Scene Climber” is one of those songs that instantly had me moving around my apartment and starting a small mosh pit with my cats (okay, that’s not true but wouldn’t that be awesome if I could get my cats to pit with me?!). Although the entire album is intense and in your face just like their live show, there was something about “Scene Climber” that had me instantly envisioning seeing it played live. I could just see Ben running around the audience and getting in people’s faces as Derek had sweat dripping down his face behind the drumset. It’s almost exhausting to listen to just because it’s so fast and so intense. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s a hard thing to translate a live set into a recording but Bonefire makes it seem so easy. Every song on this album had me imagining them playing right in front of me in my living room.
The album “ends” (there’s an additional two live tracks after it) with “Puke”. “Puke” ends the album just the way it started- fast and dirty. It leaves the listener wanting so much more and had me realizing just how fast this album goes by when listening to it. Although all of the songs have the same vibe to them, each song has something different to offer. Add the fast pace of each song to that and you are left with an album that definitely takes your breath away and is easy to listen to again and again.
As mentioned, the album ends with two live tracks from The Triple Rock Social Club (RIP!). The recording quality is definitely a bit harsher than the perfection of the first six songs but the vibe and sound of the band is the same. It goes back to me talking about how this is one of the few bands I’ve found where their recordings match the sound of them playing live. I was at the show that this was recorded at and I loved the fact that these recordings were un-altered and had me feeling like I was right back there. I could smell the PBR in the air as I listened to it and to say that brought me a sense of comfort would be an understatement.
With members of various other bands (including Misery, Social Schism, Troublemaker, and The Murderers), there’s more talent in this band that I have time to explain. Each member brings something to the table and that’s what makes this group such a dynamic one to listen to. Do you need an album to help get you going in the morning? This is that album.
My Favorite Track(s): “Scene Climber”
Chances Of Getting A Noise Complaint While Listening To In An Apartment: 9 out of 10
At Home Moshability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artemis walked away after I tried to start a mosh pit with him. Autumn slept on my bed in the other room
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 10 out of 10- Trick question though- I saw them before I listened to this and I know how great they are live
My Overall Rating: 4.9 out of 5
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