Maybe what makes this album even better is that for the first ten or so listens, I had no clue that one of the two members was Ryan Gosling of the movie Half Nelson, among others. Ryan put aside the acting (except when financial needs called, of course) to focus on his passion for music, teaming up with his best bud Zach Shields to form Dead Man's Bones. Only problem is that neither really knew how to play any instruments before
getting into the project.
Enter a third, mitigating variable of considerable talent: the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir. The end result is an amateur, choral-freak-folk album that is winds up being both creepy and all-together fun at the same time.
Every track on their self-titled debut focuses on death and scary creatures, but "My Body's a Zombie for You" hints at other themes, as well. The song rocks and wobbles, not as a tribute to its protagonist, but as a result of Shields and Gosling's willful amateurism. Neither really knew how to play their instruments before they began playing, and each made it a point to record songs in as few takes as possible, mistakes and all. The band's primitive doo-wop piano and lurching beat provide suitable companions for the song's real star: the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir, which provides most of the album's vocals. The kids clap and shout the chorus here, turning every word into an exclamation. Gosling moans the song's creepier verses, and with lines like "I hold my soul from the lands unknown / to play the strings of your death," the song's other theme (obsessive love) seems worse than the walking dead - NPR