Review of Wishes/Fishes EP by The Zephyr Bones

It's said that there are only seven stories in the world, and that every one that's ever told is merely a variation of these themes. You could argue much the same theory is true of music, especially when you consider that most of the biggest selling artists currently in the word are just rehashing, getting paid for echoes and badly disguised impersonations. For The Zephyr Bones, imitation is also the sincerest form of flattery, the genre in question being the soporific jangling of West Coast pop. A milieu plundered by countless bands before them since the movement's first stirrings in the early eighties, its heady cocktail of surf, sunsets and escapism seems to never grow old, even if you're a bunch of Chileans now residing in Barcelona.

The Zephyr Bones Wishes/Fishes EP

Reissued on cassette - yes, we know - 'Wishes/Fishes' was first available digitally last year and its original under-the-radar status is one which many a critic may regret not attempting to blog their way out of now. This is because despite the fact that no new stones are unturned here, when you come at the king you'd better not miss, and Jossip, Nico, Toni and Brian are on this evidence sat on an arsenal of great tunes and much heavenly Balearic fervor.

Where better to start the EP than with the warm feeling of sand between your toes? Opener 'Weird Summer' does admittedly bear some similarities to 'The Drums Let's Go Surfing', but the reverb drenched vocals, primitive guitars and timid snare are all familiar but perfect here, staples of a couple of pop minutes which are made for dancing round open campfires to. By contrast, next they're demanding that we 'Get Away From The Coast', a request which their insistent tumble of chords ironically makes harder to honour.

Nothing's broken here and the quartet wisely don't seem too keen to fix it if there were. On 'Los Cocodrillos', they introduce the odd synth wash and here and there a tambourine; other than these touches, the formula remains. Something may well be lost in translation for the closer, entitled 'Let's Spit Our Bones Into The Sea': but as the tempo drops slightly and they enter a more considered and delicate range, the impression is of an outfit who have the potential to be much more than just a another facsimile of melancholic staples such as Real Estate.

You can have too much of a good thing, of course. And there may only be seven tales for us all to choose from, but The Zephyr Bones at least would seem to represent a brand new chapter in indie rock's never ending story.


Andy Peterson

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