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Baby Eagle

Bone Soldiers

Baby Eagle
There's such astounding poetry to the punk rock of Steven Lambke that it's a pity he doesn't get his due alongside the great songwriters of our time. At issue, it seems, could be the palatability of a record like Bone Soldiers, which is bold and uncompromising in its beauty, but filled with dirt and the skeletons most of us would rather leave covered up. Yet it's all worth unraveling, as these are vivid tales steeped in rich metaphors whose charms are conveyed not with sly, self-satisfied winks, but as surreal points of fact. In the Bone Soldiers universe, one can quizzically ponder "a thousand nails that hold the darkness to the sky" ("Brave Women") or the oblivious, suburban solider sporting "a Shotmaker patch sewn on my dead man's jacket bought at the surplus store" (the aptly named "Old Punks"). The imagery is surrounded by explosive, dynamic musical arrangements that can rise with the rage of things startled from sleep, but raring to go full-tilt despite their raw, bleary-eyed mood. It doesn't come easy, but the heightened atmosphere is worth working through. Is it hyperbole to mention names like Cohen and Dylan in the same breath as Baby Eagle? Perhaps, but there are few other figures that have commanded such distinctive voices and perspectives to tap into something so pure, (baby) eagle-eyed and passionate. Bone Soldiers is another mighty wallop against lazy, complacent rock music and the antidote to all the easy, cutesy wordplay in the world.
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