‘Roll the Bones’ by Shakey Graves (June 4)
“Struggle all you like dear – Someday everybody dies alone”. I’m not quite sure if I wrote that down absolutely word for word, but the general sentiment is, what we call, a universal truth; a universal truth that most choose to avoid. It’s this brash sense of responsibility that puts the extra baggage on the Shakey Graves debut and gives it depth worth swimming in. Never losing the battle to the expected, ‘Roll the Bones’ controls itself, controls the album, controls, possibly, the band.
Roll the Bones by Shakey Graves (June 4) *
Shakey Graves describes himself only as “a gentleman from Texas.” I couldn’t agree more; this dude is a gentleman in every respect. Case in point: album opener ‘Unlucky Skin’ (manages to transition from 7/4 to 5/4 time without any indiction that he’s showing off, let alone being the least bit dishonest about his motives.
Despite all it’s inventiveness and artistry, Roll the Bones remains a shockingly genuine folk record. It’s also probably the first time since the mid 90s that I’ve heard an entire album of “lo-fi” and not been like “o i c wut u did thar”. ‘City in a Bottle’ live just sweetens the deal, proving that Shakey Graves has the balls to do Waits-esque neo-vaudville and make it actually touch the soul.