Mr. Bones Walk-In Closet
- Artist: The Barmitzvah Brothers
- Format: CD
- Release Date:3/30/2004
The Barmitzvah Brothers are a band of youth from Guelph, Ontario, who make eccentric, experimental pop from unusual and home-made instruments and household objects. Their uniquely eclectic style fuses elements of traditional folk, polka, bluegrass, rock, klezmer, punk, and more, and ranges from upbeat to melancholy. They occasionally sing in Hebrew, not because it is their native language, but because it sounds beautiful. Their second full-length record, the magical 'Mr. Bones' Walk-in Closet', displays a more reflective side of the band than their art-punkish debut. Such heartfelt folk-country songs as 'Mercury' and the Andy-Magoffin-produced 'Little Bird' belie their young age, while thoughtful tunes like 'Agatha Read,' 'Somewhat Conceivable (but not yet achievable)' and 'The Commute' offer strength for the soul. Furthermore, 'Show Promoter Dan' is the most honest song you'll hear in all your fightin' life! In live performances the core trio - Jenny Mitchell, Geordie Gordon and Little Johnny Merritt - are joined by hockey-stick-wielding percussion duo The Lethargians and at times by an unruly, rambling orchestra. '(...)The Barmitzvah Brothers' music, a distinctive and initially intractable amalgam of klezmer, folk, art-noise and indie rock, earns them a spot in a group of artists whose creative path is more difficult than most(...) Mr. Bones is an encouraging development for The Barmitzvah Brothers. Jenny Mitchell's vocals are as unpolished as ever, but the songs behind them are more structured, more succinct, more...musical(...) If you're tired of the standard guitar/bass/drums setup, Mr. Bones' Walk-In Closet will be your new favorite record.' - George Zahora, Splendid E-zine, February 2004 '...one of Ontario's most enchanting bands... Using a truck-load of junk-shop castoffs, vintage keyboards and fiddles and drums, [they] achieve an improbably full handmade sound...' - Carl Wilson, The Globe and Mail, 13 November 2003 'The Barmitzvah Brothers are an odd proposition and possessed of a warped, thoroughly deadpan sense of humour, but a novelty act they are not. There's simply too much raw talent and fearless, convention-defying artistry at work in their music - a lilting, ramshackle mash-up of arcane nerd-pop, scratchy folk and country stylings, psychedelic whimsy, carnivalesque atmosphere and, yes, occasionally klezmer' - Ben Rayner, Toronto Star, 13 November 2003 '...Mitchell's voice - less musical, more out-of-tune conversation - is charming and cheeky. Together, they are idiosyncratic musicians and crafty storytellers. 'The Commute' mocks Guelph musicians turned big city defectors and 'Show Promoter Dan' is a bald-faced, less-than-sympathetic dirge about one notorious Toronto promoter character. This second record is catchy, clever and well worth a listen. Or six.' - Lauren Ferranti, Chart, February 2004 'The unique, utterly charming DIY sounds of The Barmitzvah Brothers incorporate a dizzying array of borrowed, bought and homemade instruments. Keyboards, bass and drums ultimately rule, but the Brothers will augment their bare-bones pop with violin, mandolin, glockenspiel, spoons, trumpet or Ukrainian whistle. When that's not enough, they can turn to ringers The Lethargians -- Sister Caitlin and Sylvie -- who fill out the live sound with background vocals and such unlikely sources of percussion as an oil canister and a hockey stick. If it all sounds a bit too artsy and precious, the songs are grounded by Mitchell's lyrics, which dwell on such real-world concerns as the exodus of artists to Toronto from Guelph, experiences with shady characters and love for a (recently departed) pet bird.' Allan Wigney, Ottawa Sun, 24 December 2003.