Teenage trio Bonsai Trees show promise on four-song EP

Listening to teenage would-be rockers is one of the least appealing musical activities there is. They rarely sound like anything more than a pale imitation of their influences, and when their lyrics aren’t crass stabs at humor, they’re painfully earnest paeans to heartbreak or pseudo-poetic claptrap. Fortunately, there are exceptions, and Bonsai Trees is one of them. The trio of Connecticut teens from South Windsor and Glastonbury mostly avoid all those traps on their self-titled debut EP.

Though it’s just four songs long, the kids show reasonable range. They start with angular guitars and insistent piano on opener “Shovel” and pile growly guitar over a fat bassline  and yearning vocals on “Ronald Raygun” (even the title transcends their ages). The strummy “Sad” would have benefited from a musical contrast to the acoustic guitar and singer James MacPherson’s angsty vocals, but closer “I Hate the District” offers partial redemption with a strong mix of punchy guitar, snapping drums and steady, thrumming bass. The tune veers a little off course on the bombastic chorus, but Bonsai Trees never waver, and you’ve got to admire their commitment.

The musicians play well together, following each other through the twists and turns in the songs, and though four songs isn’t much to go on, their EP sounds like a rather promising start.

— Eric R. Danton

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  1 comment for “Teenage trio Bonsai Trees show promise on four-song EP

  1. Lori Swanton
    November 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    You guys rock! See u in the Grammy’s someday in the future!

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