Updated: May 12, 2021
Who said a rock band needs four members to rattle your bones? Not this NJ duo. Since 2015, Marc Lampasona (drums, percussion, bass) and Stephen “Mississippi Steve” Reynolds (vocals, guitar, bass) have been creating music together. A year ago, the pair made their official debut together as Rattle Them Bones, an alternative and self-titled “dirty rock” band, testing to see how much noise two people can make. Inspired by classic blues players Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker, quintessential metal bands, and modern rock groups, Rattle Them Bones aims to craft a sound that uniquely fuses blues and metal.
But what does Rattle Them Bones mean to the band? When we asked the duo, they explained the trifecta of their title. According to Mississippi Steve, “It’s an old saying that means ‘to roll the dice’ or take a chance.” At the same time, Lampasona believes, “There’s also the loud factor, where the music is loud enough to wake the dead,” but lastly, they said, “We want our music to shake people up, get them dancing, and inspire them to rock out.”
And that’s just what they set out to do in November of 2020 with the release of their single, “Krooked Man.” This track is a metaphor for addiction, visualized in their music video through this Joker-like figure, which is always in the main character’s shadow. The pair further unfold the meaning of their tune, “It touches on the difficulties of overcoming addiction, the heartbreak from watching people lose themselves to it, the withdrawal effects, and how addiction is a lifelong shadow that will never leave you be, no matter what you do. You can’t run, and you can’t hide from it because it’ll always be there in some hidden space.” This feeling of vulnerability and entrapment is exemplified through their lyrics singing, “Just like a flood, he’s in your blood/He’s got his claws deep in your skin,/ When you’re down, you know he’ll be around,/With his special brand of sin.” Every verse carries another burden of addiction, with dense vocal effects and grit. It’s heavy, it’s catchy, and has just the right amount of guitar soloing to please your palette.
LONG STORY SHORT: This track is a rock song with depth and grime. Like a heavier The Black Keys. You’ll want to sing along with the “Krooked Man.” You might even want to dance.