Single Review: Army of Bones - 'Batteries'
Drawing comparisons to the likes of Bloc Party, and early Radiohead, Brighton based Army of Bones make a very interesting introduction for themselves.
'Batteries' is part of the band's debut double A side single and sees the band sputter, burr, whizz, and whurr into life. More like an army of machines than that of bones. Take the synths, the emotive electric guitar hooks, the powerful snares aside though and there's a very human vulnerability here. It's in the exhausted lyrics, "Take my batteries out, and leave me here to die" and the evocative vocal tone, where man is running on empty, man wants no more, man is giving up.
But man does not have an off switch. Or at least an easily accessible one. Glitching synths and dynamic instrumentation are almost poignant in the way they gear up and slow down to support the weakened but pleading ethos, and fragile human mentality; "plug me in the wall so I can live again". desperately searching for strength or finality from an unknown source.
'Batteries' is accompanied by 'River' which sees the narrator tap into an inner strength, being cleansed. Still aware of their mortality, their weaknesses, their fraility . Army of Bones are rising again with purposeful, unstoppable, determined instrumentation that pushes the track forward in a completely different, grittier way than the helplessness that 'Batteries' displays.
Army of Bones know how to engage emotionally and urgently. To peer out through the synthetic layers of their music with sincerity and touch base on an inescapable reality - that we hurt, but we harden. It's fight or flight and this band knows it.