Review Summary: William Bonney's Good Vibes EP is an excellent starting point for those not familiar with screamo and even better for those craving more of that Merchant Ships sound
In our youth, most of us have the luxury of forming close knit bonds with people. Often times, these people will remain our best friends all throughout our educational period of life and you will find yourselves doing everything from watching movies and playing guitar, to partying and showering together. Normal teenage stuff. After this growing phase of your life, you might drift away and lead very different lives. A few years pass and you bump into that stranger with a familiar face and you are instantly hit with a flood of memories. That familiar face is William Bonney.
"As your skin grows hard and your heart turns numb, you realize the man that you have become. Now you’re nothing, searching for friends and the love that you’re losing, searching for something to keep you from moving backwards."
- "Leather Empire"
Formed from the ashes of Merchant Ships and Midwest Pen Pals with a name coined from the outlaw Billy the Kid to boot, Good Vibes
opens up with "Leather Empire"
, carrying a sound that is instantly recognizable. Clean, twinkly-esque guitars, that break into frantic drumming and high pitched screams, all things a skramz record would be incomplete without. What separates William Bonney from all of the other bands that just entered your mind is their sound is so carefully honed and refined that it raises them a bar above. Featuring a sound that is a cross somewhere between the two bands, William Bonney is the older brother of that old high school friend.
The guitar work is complex, and though not always tight and clean, the melodies are expertly crafted by guitarists Josh Miller and Michael Gerstein (Formerly the bassist of Merchant Ships. Who knew he had such great guitar chops!) There are plenty of memorable guitar riffs in every song to keep any mathematician pleased, such as the guitar break in "No Pizza"
or stand out tracks "Drug Lord"
. Holding down the bass is Ethan with a thick and meaty tone that stands out wonderfully in the mix that isn't restricted to just playing root notes and helps accent the oddly crisp drum work of Garret Cabello, not afraid to use some double bass at just the right times. With a fan base that would likely follow him into hell, the man on vocals is Jack Senff himself (formerly of Merchant Ships and Midwest Penpals). It is largely due to Jack that William Bonney is so accessible in their sound. His scream sits somewhere between a half yell and a high pitched scream with the occasional singing thrown in for good measure. Never too harsh to turn off those not accustomed to screamo vocals and just harsh enough to please those who are. Largely known for not just his voice but his lyrics, Good Vibes
is no stranger to Jack's poetic lines. The lyrics are often very basic in their nature, but they are delivered so passionately and blunt that the listener feels the intended meaning like a punch in the face.
"I hate everyone I know, then I wonder 'where did my friends go?'"
- "Drug Lord"
With it's absolutely crisp production, thanks to being recorded in a studio known for it's quality; a bedroom, it's wonderfully played instruments and hard hitting lyrics, William Bonney's Good Vibes
EP is an excellent starting point for those not familiar with screamo and even better for those craving more of that Merchant Ships sound. Fans of mathy riffs, odd time signatures, and sing along friendly jams need apply.
"All my sad songs have been used up, they’ve had enough of my heartsick, thrown-up bull ***."
- "Good Vibes"