My first exposure to Brooklyn’s Dr. Skinnybones came the same way a lot of great Brooklyn bands come to my attention, through the aid of Oliver Ignatius. His studio has been releasing compilations of all the bands they work with, and on Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen Section 2, Dr. Skinnybones had a song called “Bad Education.” It’s a great song, and the rest of their similarly named full-length is of equal quality. I got out to New York to see a show the studio put on featuring a bunch of their bands, and Dr. Skinnybones didn’t disappoint, ripping through a bunch of songs in their 30-minute set. Jake Williams and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte have a great energy together, and it continues to show on their new album A Last Hurrah For The Glory Of Drinking Alone.
It starts with a two-parter, “Revenge I” and “Revenge II,” a dark breakup song about the desire of a scorned lover to crush the one who betrayed them. A slow burn if ever there was one, the songs are a change of pace from the usual high-octane post-punk they do so well. Williams gets to bare his soul a bit more than usual, and it almost feels like a song from a Broadway musical the way it builds up on top of itself. Halfway through part two of the song there’s trumpet and hard rollicking drums behind Williams’ amped up guitar. The end adds the singing saw of Julian Koster (his Memory Tapes bandmate Robbie Cucchiaro provides the horn). There’s one really great verse in there that goes:
I know the truth. You’re afraid of me.
You cower in your room and watch the streets.
But your mistake-you think you’re strong.
But I can tear your heart out with this song
Just a few days ago the band put up the video for the first single off A Last Hurrah. The song is “Fuck Everyone,” and it’s a thrasher that really jumpstarts the rest of the record. I love the nod to a fellow Mama Coco’s alum from The Great American Novel, “You walk around and hold your head up like you’re Layne Montgomery. If you could see yourself than you would know this joke ain’t funny.” The video is pretty cool, directed by drummer Joris-Peyrafitte and shot by James Siewert.
My personal favorite song on the record is “Undertaker” for a couple reasons. I love the simplicity of it, almost just a bluesy jam that doesn’t try to be anything more. Drums, guitar and vocals make up the majority of the tune, with a little piano underneath that peeks its head out a couple times throughout. The other part I love about this song is that they lift a verse from The All-About‘s “Occupy My Heart.” It’s unexpected but it works perfectly.
Did I mention that Amanda Palmer makes an appearance on this album? I’m neither here nor there on her music myself, but if you’re a Palmer fan you can’t miss her. I can’t get the embed code to work for the part she’s on, so instead enjoy a video of Dr. Skinnybones playing with Palmer at Bard College where they recorded A Last Hurrah.
This album goes to some places Dr Skinnybones hasn’t ventured before, and that’s awesome if you already like the band. It’s also a good jumping off point for people new to their music, as it touches a little bit on a lot of different influences. You can pick it up on Bandcamp for the low price of $5. If you dig it, please go back and check out Bad Education and all their other releases, all of which are either free or Name Your Price.