by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Ann Arbor, MI's Bonzo have steadily been releasing albums for the past three years, warping shapes and peeling through dissonance in search of their sound, something both chaotic and gentle. Paired down from a quartet to a duo, the band continue to push the envelope on With Your Belly, exploring a wide spread color palette of fuzzy slowcore, shoegaze, lo-fi, and experimental pop, immersed in clouds of atmosphere that both obscure and augment their slowly shifting songs. The record is built on a solid ground of ambience, expanded over with layers of distorted beauty, divergent whirring, and sonic detail that takes some time to wade through.
The swarm of effects and manipulated structures is akin to watching the clouds change; it's full of vibrant beauty and up for interpretation as you see it. Tracks like "Used" and the electronic trickle of "Rock Salt" are perfect examples of the band's swollen approach to atmospheric drift, nuanced enough to create a dialog, but detached enough to leave it indistinguishable. More dynamic moments like the impeccable opener "U Wish" and the propulsive "Packy East" are focused and driving with lush peaks and unexpected spikes, retaining the album's ethereal nature but pushing beyond toward something bigger, something more alive. There's a great deal to unpack throughout the cavernous With Your Belly, a mystical record that unfolds with time.