Hollywood brooder Ryan Gosling doesn't reverse the rule that actors make dubious pop musicians (see Keanu, Jared Leto, ScarJo), but his rickety collaboration with budding thespian Zach Shields has an undeniable dark charm.
Is Dead Man's Bones' record necessarily as accomplished as either of the aforementioned? Maybe not. But when one half of your band is splitting his vocations by also brandishing his face onto big studio pieces of celluloid, it's still a mightily impressive debut.
How you respond to this cloying, gothic preciousness will have everything to do with your personal tolerance level for things like rough-hewn songcraft and small children chanting about zombies. [16 Oct 2009, p.59]