In the ever-evolving attempt to bring electronic music back into Lawrence’s scene, another musician has switched gears– this time leaning towards a more industrial sound.

It comes from an unlikely source. Serene Fiend is the latest project from Joel Bonner, the man who’s been bringing animated live shows and rockabilly licks to Lawrence over the past year with his band The Boot Stompers. It’s unsurprising that his buzzing and provocative guitar style carries over to this project, though he’s piled it on with a lot more synths and electronic beats. This is most evident on the explosive opening track, “Ephemeral Sound.” The lyrics are brutal, backed by vigorous and commanding vocals. He channels Nine Inch Nails on his cover of “Discipline,” particularly when it whittles down to a piano track with hushed vocals whispering “Once I start, I cannot stop myself.”

It’ll be a while before you see the meticulous stage production of this project, as Bonner has expressed he’ll likely start playing live shows closer to the Fall. For now, you can listen to the tracks below and brace yourself for the beginning of the noisy electronic resurgence in Lawrence. You’ll also be able to see one of his final performances as a rockabilly musician this Friday at the Lawrence Public Library ahead of their “Dinner and a Movie” event on the lawn (more info here).



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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