Bound Stems – The Logic Of Building The Body Plan (CD)

The style of rock that Bound Stems play is interesting, to say the least. There is a fury to the composition that is not paralleled in the sound, especially during the very soft-spoken “Crimes and Follies”. The sometimes shrill guitars present on this track allow the perfect amount of distortion to find its way onto the track, while the at-times raspy vocals really give this track a Protean sound (that is to say, that a number of different sounds take center stage on the track). The nuanced sound that Bound Stems create for “Totipotent” really goad individuals into the hopeless endeavor of trying to assign the band a fitting genre.

For this track, hints of Death Cab For Cutie, Fischerspooner, “Digital Urn-era” Bright Eyes and even Radiohead all come to play. The extended instrumental ending to “Totipotent” really allow the band to achieve a chaos that was not supported by the oft-times dreamy vocals that preceded it on the track; the ending really is the diametric opposite to the quiet and meek opening to “Wake Up, Ma and Pa are Gone”. What becomes obvious during “Wake Up” is that the mastering of “The Logic of Building the Body Plan” is interesting, to say the least. This really obfuscates most of the music on the disc, which is sorrowful considering the compelling music that Bound Stems put forth on this track. The fury of the screaming/orgasmic arrangements that end “Wake Up” are swaddled by wave after wave of distortion.

While it is true that this is a partly good idea (as it fills the track up and gives it a body), the fact is that the mastering goes too far and makes this distortion the focal point of the track, detracting from what may just be Bound Stem’s biggest hit. Barely hitting two minutes with “Up All Night”, Bound Stems really show their virtuosity with their accompaniment of what has to be the most inane conversation; what Bound Stems does during the track is make this annoying chatter into something extremely beautiful. The bouncy beat of “My Kingdom For A Trundle Bed” is moderated by ominous, distorted guitar lines; with the fancy-free composition trying to achieve dominance throughout, the band shows in just a few minutes everything that they stand for. The music contained within “The Logic of Building the Body Plan” is not simply just filler until the new album comes out, but really shows listeners a new side to the band.

Top Track: Wake Up, Ma and Pa Are Gone

Rating: 6.2/10

Bound Stems – The Logic Of Building The Body Plan / 2005 Flameshovel / 7 Tracks / http://www.boundstems.com / http://www.flameshovel.com / Reviewed 15 November 2005

[JMcQ]

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