this week for the weekly review, we’re checking out Tom Waits’ eleventh record, 1992’s Bone Machine. we’re no strangers to Tom Waits here on, so i’m very excited to check this one out!

The Earth Died Screaming is a jaunty track about the world ending. Waits’ vocals here are neat, shifting from a quiet narrator to the almost yelps of the chorus, and i love those marimba like sounds, like skeleton ribs on this one. Dirt In the Ground has such an interesting, raspy vocal line. very neat. the somber tone here is a good way to drive that chorus home. the sax lines in Such a Scream sound fantastic, and Waits pulls out yet another vocal style for this one, very cool. i wanna meet her. not… huge on the transition into All Stripped Down but i like the track proper quite a bit. Who Are You This Time is interesting – musically it feels like this should be sweet but boy aint it not. damn The Ocean Doesn’t Want me is grim, haha. another song awaiting the end, Jesus Gonna Be Here has a fun little twangy gait to it. the cough at the end is DEEPLY funny. A Little Rain feels a little Nighthawks-y, for sure. neat track that invites the listener in without providing a ton of answers, haha. In The Colosseum brings us back to the sounds from the beginning of the record – def a good time here, but who’s paying the price? Goin’ Out West is absolutely the gem of the record, no doubt. the flat ass, chunky guitars, the drums up front in the mix, and Waits wailing behind them with all the arrogance in the world, its a fun one. Murder In the Red Barn definitely impartd that sense of quiet dread – for some reason the line about roadkill having seasons always jumps out at me. Black Wings was a sleeper hit for me. big fan of this track for sure. Whistle Down The Wind is piano heavy and brings in a gruffer vocal style for Waits, and its p good. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up does this funny thing where i go from bristling at it to being fully on board over the course of the first verse, haha. Let Me Get Up On It is mostly instrumental, but i gotta say i love that Waits is just making nonsense noise in the background. That Feel closes us out here – got a fun sense of hope coming out of this track that’s extremely nice.

faves – The Earth Died Screaming, Such A Scream, In The Colosseum, Goin’ Out West, Black Wings, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
dislikes –

okay looking at that faves list its really obvious what i gravitated to here, haha. this record was a really neat experience in that it pulls in a ton of musical and vocal styles that Waits has used across his other records – theres a lot of versatility here, creativing a huge variety in moods track to track. a lot of them resonated with me and stuck with me, but there’s also quite a bit that didnt. id be very interested to come back to this record with another Waits album or two under my belt to get some other lenses to view it through, and at some point soon i gotta put the records im familiar with into some kinda chronology so i can sort some of these styles out in my brain.

Bone Machine – 8/10

next week, i’ll be taking a trip back into my own personal listening history, and checking out Rhapsody of Fire’s Dawn of Victory.  i’ll be back next Friday, March 24th with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)