EP Review: Rival Bones - 'Strangefruit'


James Whitehouse and Chris Thomason are the Liverpool-based duo who make up the raucous act, that is Rival Bones. Hot off the heels of a manic festival season, they are back with their second EP, ‘Strangefruit’.

Rival Bones are the perfect band for anyone who is a fan of Royal Blood, Foo Fighters and Eagles of Death Metal. ‘Beautiful/Dangerous’ is the driven introduction to Strangefruit, which is about the giving into the intoxicating feeling of attraction, even though you know it’s not right for you. “Believe me if you can; I need to be a better man but need and wants may fight another day.” James Whitehouse’s vocals have that rough, shouty quality that is signature of Dave Grohl. When you add in the weighty riffs that seem to have a whole load of pedal action, à la Royal Blood, it almost seems as that you’ve got a new supergroup on your hands.

‘Tie So Tight’ details the frustration at having to live in a society that sets you up to fail. “I won’t follow cause I don’t wanna die. What are we dying for? Untie the knots that tie you.” Amidst all of the angry vocals, is an incredibly melodic and intrinsic guitar riff that, whilst ceasing in the verses, transforms into the most prominent part of the choruses and breakdown, with drums from Chris Thomason perfectly letting the guitar have its moments before joining it for the thrashier parts.

‘Pull Me Under’ and ‘Hot Blooded’ have a swinging sensation that pulls you back and forth, like a pendulum. There’s a Queens of the Stone Age feel about the songs with with their echoed vocals and interchangeable riff. Rival Bones are clearly inspired by some big bands, and they do pull it off. It seems like should take a lot of effort come up with such a huge sound, but Rival Bones make it seem effortless. It is no surprise that they decided to become a duo, rather than carrying on the search for a five-piece band. 

Words by Tyler Damara Kelly