August 20th, 2009
Lazybones Songs From Here
What happens when a couple of punks spend their formative years touring the world over and releasing albums independently with little in return? Well, they form a folk band, of course, and relish the better things in life.
So it goes for Tim MacNeill and Matt Wells (yes, the MuchMore VJ extraordinaire), two former East Coasters who converged in the city of Toronto to collaborate on a new two-man band called Lazybones.
Considering both members’ roots, Lazybones’ debut album Songs From Here might seem like a big surprise to those familiar with the duo’s previous work.
MacNeill’s Arlibido were a self-proclaimed “rock ska sex funk electric danceomatic pop punk trio” who addressed the importance of, well, the libido. Wells’ Bucket Truck, on the other hand, were a bunch of heavy road warriors who released five albums on their own, including one with Pelle Henricsson and Eskil Lovstrom, the Swedes who painstakingly produced Refused’s seminal The Shape Of Punk To Come… and in turn gave birth to screamo along with a million copycat bands.
Songs From Here is a pretty radical departure from the sludgy, post-hardcore of Bucket Truck, to say the least. The sound of two disillusioned songwriters coming together for the sake of making music, the uplifting spirit is immediate and clear in songs such as the feel-good ditty “Perfect Life,” which features the one and only Huey Lewis on harmonica (yes, really!), the summery beach pop of single “Slowmotion” and the hazy “Sleepy Tune,” where guest singer Jill Barber reassures us that “it’s not the end of the world, just the end of the day.”
What’s perhaps most refreshing about Lazybones is in how Wells and MacNeill both share vocals on the majority of the album without stepping on each others cords. This, teamed with minimal instrumentation that allows the acoustic guitars to carry the harmonies, keeps Lazybones from drifting into its titular condition, which, let’s face it, is one that plagues quite a few singer-songwriters of this ilk these days.
Oh, and did I mention that Songs From Here is sold using a “pay-what-you-want” infrastructure through the fair-trade music site noisetrade.com? If you’re feeling generous, you can also buy it off iTunes, but if the recession is killing your cash flow, you can also get it absolutely free by passing the word on to five of your friends. See below.