Mike Bones

92YTribeca; Fri 13
Music Hall of Williamsburg; Sat 14

When Mike Bones says that he’s “given dozens of fictitious names,” shortly into his second album, A Fool for Everyone, he’s pretty much telling the truth. Bones, born Strallow, douses more oil on a slippery slope as “A Moment’s Peace” continues, running through a laundry list of ill wishes and maxims (“I’ve been the other man with your wife,” “I wish the worst for you and your children”). In the song, and throughout the record, the gifted guitarist (and goofy singer) portrays himself as part spurned child, part jaded adult.

The disc is almost entirely a chronicle of Bones’s disaffection with one object: women. The disdain runs deep—his heart hasn’t been broken, it’s been hacked apart. “Today the World Is Worthy of My Loathing” sets the tone with daggers like these: “Love tries to make men faithful?/?Love cannot make me trust.”

The wounded boy that emerges through the cracked vocals is mirrored in Bones’s lyrics, but can be countered by a wiser man, too: On the rousing, Arcade Fire--like epic “What I Have Left,” he sings, “My soul once was blessed, but it didn’t take I guess?/?So I’ll deal with what I have left.” But if Bones’s lyrics suggest that all that remains is an empty shell, his technical dexterity and wordsmithing indicate otherwise. On this Valentine’s Day, his frankness will no doubt ring true for the despondent.—Colin St. John

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