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Published: 2009/07/20
by Brian Robbins

Rings Sean Bones

The alter ego of guitarist Sean Sullivan (check out the band Sam Champion), Sean Bones is all about the skanking, my friends. Bones newly-released Rings is packed with white-boy reggae that clobbers you with smiley grooves right from the opening downbeat. For sure, Bones is no Mishka: this is the sound of flip-flops, surfer shorts, and cold beer rather than knit hats full of dreads and beat-up acoustic guitars around a campfire in Trenchtown but thats okay. Rings will make you happy, and hey: the world needs happy.
At times, ska might be a better term than reggae for the tunes on Rings: at its poppiest, the album sounds something like Squeeze (not a bad thing); even at their heaviest (Dancehall), the band sounds like a cheerful Nine Inch Nails. (Trust me.)
Bones and his core band (bassist Mikey Bones, keyboardist Mark Phillips, and drummer/percussionist Ryan Thornton) are joined here and there by special guests such as singer Norah Jones, Joe Russo (lending percussion talents to a couple of cuts) and Antibalas members Eric Biondo and Stuart Bogie on trumpet and flute, respectively. (Bogies breathy solo on Act So Casual is absolutely killer.) The albums production is just the right mix of tricks and dirt never too glossy or pretty.
Dont let the fun-loving nature of the music on Rings fool you aliases aside, Bones and company are serious about what theyre doing here. Hopefully, therell be more.

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