February 13, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 75  

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The Barmitzvah Brothers
Mr. Bones’ Walk-In Closet

The Barmitzvah Brothers are not Jewish, but sometimes they like to sing in Hebrew just for the fun of it. Nor are they brothers; they can’t be — one of the members is a girl. So as much as “The Barmitzvah Brothers” doesn’t accurately describe the band, this anything-goes approach is continued in the Guelph teen trio’s quirky, lo-fi, everything-AND-the-kitchen-sink songs.

Mr. Bones’ Walk-In Closet leads off with “Jimmy and Dorothy Part 4,” the story of a couple of kids who become inspired to make a record after seeing an ad for a make-your-own-CD kit. This provides a helpful introduction to the Brothers’ music: the kit’s materials sound cheap — a circus-like organ, a basic drumbeat and unhoned vocals — and it’s completely do-it-yourself stuff.

Although the songs have the feel of a six-year-old’s puppet production, the trio of Jenny Mitchell, Geordie Gordon and John Merritt create well-crafted songs like the country-polka romp “We Didn’t Clap When This Man Played (And Neither Did That Lady),” which features a fired-up and mean violin solo.

So before you go kicking yourself for selling that old Casio keyboard at your last garage sale, keep in mind that kid rock isn’t necessarily child’s play.

—Brian Wong



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