Music, Print, Reviews May 7, 2020

Album Review: Bones Muhroni – Triquetrum

by Laura Giagos

The Triquetrum is a small bone in your hand, specifically right below the pinky and above the forearm. This is the bone which Bones Muhroni frontman and band leader Crew Rienstra broke riding his razor scooter from his home in Los Angeles, California to pick up beer, putting his right hand in a cast for six weeks.

Crew Rienstra of Bones Muhroni.

Triquetrum is also the title of the sixth recording project under the name Bones Muhroni, a project which began in Greeley, Colorado in 2011 when Rienstra attended the University of Northern Colorado, winning that year’s BandWagon Battle of the Bands.

Rienstra always wrote his songs on his guitar. With that no longer being an option as per the injury, he acquired a Yamaha keyboard and began composing tiny songs using the built in drum machine and synth tones. These limited means would ultimately become the satisfyingly titled EP and his most dynamic work yet.

Bones Muhroni and it’s figurehead have been a lot of things over the years: cheeky, folksy, a touch uncouth, but always a good time. Triquetrum is the happy and painful accident that, in my opinion, gave us his best music to date. It has some of the country quality old friends and fans of Bones have come to love on “The Ballad of Clifford Griffin,” but musically Rienstra has clearly moved beyond that being his primary sound.

Bones Muhroni from Left to Right: Taylor Plenn, Crew Rienstra, John Hollywood, Dylan Rodrigue, Jada Wagensomer, Robert Anderson

The record rides high on Roxy Music influences (although Rienstra says that just happened naturally) and has a taste of deep British 90’s pop like something out of the Trainspotting soundtrack. “The Way She Listened To Music” is the gem of the EP, for which Rienstra brought in veteran Muhroni drummer Ryan Wykert, who also relocated to L.A. from Greeley. Wykert provides a lushness and pulse that makes the song blossom infectiously. 

Triquetrum isn’t incredibly dynamic, but thanks to the eight-track recorder Rienstra’s neighbor lent him and some solid mixing and mastering, there’s a vibe that gives it life from beginning to end. The auxiliary musicians Rienstra brings in are solid, adding the right kind of texture to emphasize the context of each song.

There’s a lot to the new Bones Muhroni EP, and it’s worth digging into. Riestra is not a typical L.A. musician putting out material and waiting to pop – he’s grinding like everyone else, trying to navigate the new music industry in the shadow of Covid-19. In fact, he sees this as the perfect time to release this EP and its follow up which he has already recorded. If ever there was a time to start listening to Bones Muhroni, it’s now, because – let’s face it, you’re not doing anything else.