Multi-instrumentalist Nate Jacobucci pierces through the walls of modern music with this beautifully eclectic and powerful album of originals – songs which, considering their birth during a tumultuous period of isolation and lock-down, are surprinsgly vast and unifying by nature.
From the opening intensity and sense of impending drama that an instrumental Defungus Requiem presents, O-Bone initially promises a particular sound, but very quickly goes on to rid itself of that restraint and implication.
Waking Up Dead is a fantastic song, striking as the first of vocal melody and lyric, and appearing at just the right time to elevate things and intrigue listeners as per the creative freedom and poetic fearlessness of the artist. A mellow shuffle of a piano track, optimistic in tune but compelling and poignant in topic.
The album in full draws influence from a number of emotions that we all most likely shared in during the pandemic. I Miss My Friends is a fine example, and takes a literal approach with a joyful musicality and rhythm to accompany the heartache of realising just how big a role our friends play in our happiness.
My Hero Is Dead is another highlight, and we’re only four tracks in. There’s an air of melancholy to this one, a touch of The Beatles or even Bowie at their most reflective, and it feels like an anthem that again blends personal reflection with broadly accessible feelings towards others and the world.
Rock and roll kicks in for a sudden injection of energy as Nocturnal Man rings out and connects for its juxtaposed loudness alongside the implied quiet of night time. We then get the haunting, descending piano-play of Numb, which reminds us again of the impact of loneliness and offers a rather gut-wrenching analysis in the same instance. ‘Will I ever feel again?’ resounds and lingers.
Acoustic honky-tonk mellowed out takes us elsewhere as Bones lights up the room and simultaneously seems to delve into the concept of death in an eerily joyful way. A fantastic song, a little Beach Boys-esque but with a decidedly more intricate, poetic and provocative backbone (excuse the pun). A personal favourite from the project.
During the latter half, other hits include the outright appeal of Living In A Loop – a bold reminder of the days of lock-down and the excessive time spent with ourselves and our routines.
Then there’s the circus-like colour and retro bounce of Theme From ‘O-Bone’ / Shake Yer Tibia. Even in its lyrical minimalism, moments like this hold close to the profound and deeply human creative expression of Jacobucci – a valued perspective that accesses with both humour and sadness the very heart of the human experience at a significant time.
Frankenstein Love is beautiful, intriguing, fascinating, illuminating, and Exhumed and Groomed tips its hat back to Bones before delving into a fresh story that again holds attention with ease.
Then there’s the Hymn-like choir of O Creator for a completely unexpected final curtain. (Although, having said that, it is quite expected of the end for many.) You hang on these slowly emerging words just waiting for the twist, the variation, the shock factor. Jacobucci refuses to disappoint.
A wonderful album, honest and eccentric all at once, professionally crafted and rooted amidst the satisfying and broadly likable sounds of a simpler era.