Muscle & Bone - Peace & Light
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Record Label: Black Numbers
If you’re wondering, yes, Muscle & Bone took their name from the song “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” by The Anniversary. And if you were wondering about that, you can stop reading, because that should already tell you that Muscle & Bone is a band you need to check out. If not, well, Muscle & Bone is still a band you need to check out, and I’ll tell you why.
Peace & Light is bursting with poppy emo goodness. Even Robert Travis’ voice echoes a younger Chris Conley’s. That’s appropriate, since the album recalls Stay What You Are’s larger than life pop punk choruses, such as in “Song for the Broken Road,” while still maintaining its brooding emo charm, like on “Neither the Vine Nor the Branch.” “I Am an Oak” is one of the best songs on the album, sounding like a cut from Joie De Vivre’s 2012 effort We’re All Better Than This; its downbeat chorus of “we sleep in space” is one of the most memorable parts of the record, despite being one of the quietest.
“I Am an Oak” leads into the album’s centerpiece, “Peace & Light.” Probably the song most in line with the classic 90s emo sound (along with “Neither the Vine”), the title track makes use of strings in a similar fashion to those used on Jimmy Eat World’s “Just Watch the Fireworks,” and to a similar effect. It’s a soft ballad – until Travis asks, “When they say you’re beautiful / do they mean insecure? / When they say you’re everything / do they mean you’re not worth it?” and the band picks up. The strings are still present though, and it makes for a beautiful conclusion to the song.
When Robert Travis opens the album by declaring that he wants to “steal the light inside your chest,” it seems like a plea – especially since it’s followed up by “I wanna be erased” and, later on in the album, “I will die alone for I want to,” and “All I want is to be forgotten.” But upon listening to Peace & Light, it’s pretty clear that Muscle & Bone won’t be forgotten anytime soon. They’ve stolen my heart, and it’s likely they’ll steal yours too.