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Bonemen of Barumba - Bonemen of Barumba (10" EP, 1981)
Barbeque music from hell - Steve Albini
Bonemen of Barumba were a unique punk/gothic punk band from the early 80s. They released three records during their lifetime and played at the 2005 O'Banions reunion, though Mark Panick was the only original member. They also made a video (very rare for the bands of that era) and even made a float and participated in a parade in Villa Park. Though not as popular as many of their early 80s contemporaries, Bonemen of Barumba were well-respected for their unique sound and artistic/visual approach to their music. Bonemen got their start with Mark and Tom, two fans of Super-8 artfilm, decided to form a band after a field trip to New Orleans. Shortly after, they built a Bonemen-themed float out of a 1964 Mercury station-wagon for the Villa Park 4th of July parade. Shortly after the release of the debut LP for Fever, internal tensions within the band forced the breakup. (from punkdatabase.com)
Chicago's Bonemen of Barumba were the joint folly of Tom Jonusaitis and Mark Panick who met through the Chicago Super-8 artfilm crowd. The Bonemen of Barumba concept came to them on a fieldtrip to New Orleans and when they got back home their newly-invented "krewe" found some community grant money and built a wildly-decorated Bonemen "junglemobile" float out of a 1964 Mercury station-wagon for the Villa Park Fourth of July parade. The music-scene wasn't quite sure what to make of the Bonemen's 10" EP, but they gave as good as they got: "Everybody had their own superiority complex" says Tom. But after a B/o/B LP for Enigma flopped, the Bonemen hung up their breechclouts... (Hyped To Death)
This 5-track EP (not 4-track as it is mentioned) is Bonemen's first release from 1981. The band then was Mark Panick and Tom Jonusaitis, with Zorro DuPont as guest. Tribal drums were their trademark from the start, but what is more striking is the tremendus force they had: although their british influences are clear (they even have a punk/reggae track!), the band's personality is stronger and the voodoo/primitive tribe factor makes them a unique case in post-punk in the early 80s.
Bonemen of Barumba released this 10'EP, "Driving The Bats Thru Jerusalem EP" and "Icons" LP (distributed by Enigma records), but although they had a unique sound and energy, and even John Peel played their first EP, they never were successful commercially. Today, Mark Panick seems to be the more active - he revived Bonemen for O'Banion's reunion in 2005 and now has a new band called "Judas Horse", with an album already released (Rex Nostrum Insanet (2006). Tom Jonusaitis appeared in a couple releases of Conveniens, a band featuring another Bonemen - the drummer John Maz.