ALBUM REVIEW: Bone Crew – Manifest

Release Date: October 30th 2020
Label: Stay Sick Records
Website: None available


After the colossal shitshow 2020 has been, surely nobody would want to hear the latest musings of Chris Fronzack (better known as Fronz), a man who by now needs no introduction.

Unfortunately, a glance at Bone Crew‘s and Attila‘s Spotify stats offer up millions of counter-arguments. After 2018’s self-titled EP, Fronz and Da Boi J bring us the debut Bone Crew full-length, ‘Manifest’. If Dan Bilzerian was an album, it would probably sound like this.

Stylistically, there’s not a great deal wrong with this. The incorporation of trap and hip-hop into many rock subgenres has had its critics, but from an instrumentation point of view it’s pretty solid, even if the canvas is overall serviceable at best. ‘Stack It’ has a toe-tapping groove, and both ‘Good Vibes’ and ‘Dead Inside’ have some memorable hooks.

Fronz is an admittedly talented vocalist, and Da Boi J offers some decent flow on the side. But it largely feels like stuff that you’ve heard many times, from the trap-inspired teaser sections to the metalcore breakdowns that have been recycled again and again.

The aspect that drags this album down the most will come as no surprise, though. Some of the lyrics on this album are like red rag to a bull, full of braggadocio and casual misogyny; it’s almost like they’re deliberately playing up to stereotypes. ‘Make Em Hate’ is simply arrogance personified, and with Fronz rapping about how he “gotta get the big bank”, it seems that having an estimated net worth of $6.5 million just isn’t enough (and surely that stat is the single greatest argument against capitalism in itself).

It quickly becomes apparent what ‘SMD’ stands for, and the ending breakdown where Fronz explodes with anger over someone not wanting to reciprocate a… erm… favour, is hideously contrived and downright embarrassing. The general shtick of the record wears thinner and thinner as it goes on, with the constant boasting and vacuous, surface-level lyrical themes dominating everything.

Da Boi J gets plenty of airtime, but he acts like the accomplice with less charisma than Fronz, largely resorting to outdoing himself with every sexual metaphor he comes up with. You could make a bingo card out of these, seriously.

The antagonism is understandable, but even so, why carry yourself like this? It is possible to have the same work ethic and business-savvy mind that Fronz‘s apologists always bring up, without acting like an eight-year-old kid flicking middle fingers out of a car window who thinks it’s the most badass, punk rock act that you can do.

‘Manifest’ will definitely have an audience, and Bone Crew are slightly more distinguishable from Attila, but the inherent vanity and general charmlessness of this record will continue to pigeon-hole Fronz as the cartoon villain. What’s more, the fact that he’ll continue to revel in this makes you pity him more than anything. You’re in your thirties now. Grow up.