[26 April 2011]
Dinosaur Bones’ debut album is full of competent indie-rock songs with very little character. The responsibility for this must be laid at the feet of singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Fox. When you do all the heavy lifting for your band, you get to shoulder the blame as well as take the credit. Fox’s singing voice is solid, but his melodies leave a lot to be desired. His mid-range vocals, sung without much passion, give the impression that he’s bored with his own songs. It doesn’t matter if it’s the poppy, tempo-shifting album opener “Making Light”, the torch song ballad “Ice Hotels”, or the upbeat rock single “Royalty”, Fox’s permanently disaffected tone of voice makes My Divider sound detached, and worse, disinterested. The rest of the band is made up of solid players, so it sounds tight and focused as a unit, but it’s in service to a songwriter who seems to be mediocre at best. We’ve all heard plenty of mopey indie-rock at this point, and Ben Fox’s songs bring absolutely nothing new or distinctive to the table.