Last Texas Platters of 2014
Reviewed by Tim Stegall, Fri., Dec. 26, 2014
Jonly BonlyPut Together (12XU Records)
When Orville Neeley left on tour with the Bad Sports in late 2012, now-former OBN III's guitarist Jason Smith found himself at loose ends. To pass the time, he penned a clutch of jangly pop tunes designed to confuse anyone familiar with his day job in punk. Enlisting fellow OBN III Marley Jones on drums and Sweet Talk guitarist/vocalist Stephen Svacina on bass, then naming the resultant trio for a spelling quirk employed by his grandfather, Smith realized Jonly Bonly transcended time-killer. Culled in part from sessions produced by Neeley, Put Together might be this year's power-pop surprise. Busting Buzzcocks energy and Byrds guitar, the quirky angst of the title track and "I Don't Mind" land closer to the taut, undistorted melodicism of Eighties New Zealand acts like the Clean or even vintage Soft Boys than anything particularly skinny-tied, much less the denim-and-leather sounds of Smith's previous bands. It's thrilling and clean, with a nasty edge and an idiosyncratic bite. Put Together: bubblegum with a Ph.D. and a cheap beer hangover.