Album of the Week – ‘Bone’ by 20th Century Dog

‘Bone’ by 20th Century Dog is Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week. 

This long awaited follow up to the band’s debut 2004 release ‘Mad Stream’, delivers a much needed hit of lively Afro-Beat, Jazz, and Funk tunes recorded live at Sydney’s own ‘Venue 505’. Led by the band’s founder and bassist Cameron Undy, their hiatus was spent developing the release and exploring new soundscapes. The result is a release that effortlessly moves between etherial and groove, a-tonal improvisation and feel good over the course of 10 tracks. Speaking of the latter, two perfect examples are that of the release’s introduction ‘Sun Rock’ and its title track. 

The former offers listeners the chance to ease into the group’s sonic journey, designed in almost a jam like manner with only a hit of organisation in the synchronised phrasing of Jeremy Rose’s saxophone line and Greg Coffin’s treble piano. ‘Bone’ lives in stark contrast, opening after a raucous crowd conclude cheering the final moments of another piece, the frantic and disjointed ensemble begin. The level of syncopation throughout this piece would challenge the best, let alone the audience. The piece also introduces some psychedelic distortion played by Ben Hauptmann on the guitar for good measure. The truly thrilling break in this particular release is when drummer Jamie Cameron challenges the percussion skills of both Ben Kidson and Simon Barker, sending the audience once again into hysterics throughout as the trio playfully dare each other to play harder and push further.

With so much to soak up one might need a pallet cleanser, and just as a perfume sales assistant would offer their customer a cup of coffee beans to smell, 20th Century Dog offer tracks like ‘Anagram’. One of the more reserved pieces as well as being the second shortest track, the group shift their focus from rhythm to melody. Coffin’s piano work becomes very repetitive, Cameron, Barker and Kidson are almost non-existent bar some faint and sparse shakers, and Rose’s melody lines now feature more meandering and sustained composition. Listeners are really spoilt for choice when sampling from this outstanding release. All of this and more was recorded and experience first by their dedicated audience at the band’s home venue 505 over two nights. Now those who were unlucky enough to not have been able to catch either of those performances can take home a piece of such a magical moment in time performed by some of Australia’s best.

Artist Listing:

Jeremy Rose – tenor sax & bass clarinet

Greg Coffin – piano & keys

Ben Hauptmann – guitar

Cameron Undy – bass

Simon Barker – drums & Log

Jamie Cameron – drums

Ben Kidson – percussion

Recorded September 29 & 30, 2016

Composed, Arranged and Produced by Cameron Undy

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Richard Belkner

Design by Alasdair Nicol

Track Listing:

1. Sun Rock 09:15

2. Tail of the Dragon 11:21

3. Anagram 02:23

4. Dog Day 08:58

5. Vibrant 06:33

6. Sunrise 03:19

7. Broken Creak 09:22

8. Bone 06:02

9. Constellation 02:21

10. Bust Down/Parallelism 14:17

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You can follow the band HERE . For an extended listen to the album, tune in on Thursday from 1.30PM – 2PM for ‘Album of the Week’ with Josh Crosbie. Don’t forget to also listen out for your opportunity to win a copy of ‘Eclecticism’ all week. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up HERE. You can also stream the station HERE.

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