Tucson's Sun Bones Use Classical Training to Dive "Into the Weirdness"
Rather than stick to vague genre tags or invent new hybrids, the members of Sun Bones offer the term "malleability."
It's fitting for a classically trained band that somehow manages to fit four-part harmonies, bursts of punk, comforting pop melodies, avant-garde excursions and more under a single umbrella and make it all work.
The Tucson band -- voted as last year's Tucson Weekly Up-and-Coming Artists of the Year under the former name Boreas -- is touring in support of self-released debut Sentinel Peak, recorded in the spring at the Saltmine Studio Oasis in Mesa, with producer Chuck Dorman.
Sun Bones is scheduled to perform Friday, July 5 at Rogue Bar.
"We had this collection of songs and we were aware it was a huge variety -- not a grab bag, but influenced by very different styles," says singer-guitarist Sam Golden. "We ordered it in a way to help guide people to the weirdness. It starts out more conventional. We front-loaded (Sentinel Peak) with the poppy songs and as the album goes on, we slowly introduce the more eccentric side of the band."
Sun Bones shine on both Sentinel Peak and in the band's explosive and frantic live performances, the foursome working themselves into a frenzied space where they seem to be possessed by the music.
"That's really where our punk aesthetic shines through," says guitarist Evan Casler. "I always have a heard time sitting still when I'm listening to music, so I just let that take over. Fortunately enough of our songs have a bump and a groove to it that we can really key into that energy and bring our own enthusiasm. We all feed off the music."
Sun Bones thrive in combining classic, melodic pop sounds -- delivered in those pitch-perfect four-part harmonies -- with more avant-garde sensibilities, sometimes pushing the envelope in a single song.
"We would describe Sentinel Peak as our first mature musical statement as a band," says bassist Bob Hanshaw. "We've been do this in various forms for six or seven years, and we've been satisfied with what we've done up to a point, but this is the first time it's all come together. Some of the songs are from our earlier recordings, but done up in a way we think are the best. Some were written years ago and just recorded now and some are new."
After the jump: "We start with the more accessible songs and branch out into the weirdness."