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Friday, 3 February 2012

Band of Skulls - Sweet Sour

Sometimes a band just manage to slip by like a ninja in the night.
You seem to recall having seen or heard something lurking in the shadows, but there's nothing that you can really hang a memory on..
That's what happened with Band of Skulls and their début album with the fantastic name of 'Baby Darling Doll Face Honey'.
For some reason I was aware of it, but it didn't really register.
In hindsight it was maybe because it came out in a month that was heavy with great releases, but then again maybe not.
I'd just be guessing.
All I know is that the band didn't really register until a friend (Mark Hickey) sent me a link to them and informed me that he had grabbed some tickets for a forthcoming show and I was going.
Since then I've been checking them out and with each listen to them have become increasingly impressed.
The Alt Rock label that they have been tagged with is a bit of a woolly one and doesn't really convey the rich and textured music that they play.
Neither does the seemingly strange reference points that are being bandied about.
They sound a bit like U2?
There's some Coldplay in there?
Is there!
Forgive me, but I'll happily be the one man marching in step here and say I don't hear that at all.
What I hear is a band who have managed to take some classic rock that's steeped in the blues and gave it a bit of a modern sheen without losing any soul or slipping into the grunge rut.
It's equally refreshingly exciting and familiarly comfortable.
The duel male and female vocals are the hook that will drag you in.
There's not much that is out of their reach, from balls out scuzzy rockers to more introspective and contemplative refrains that give way to crunching sonic assaults. This is a band have got it all nailed down.
On 'Sweet Sour' all the retrospective promise I found in their début is realized.
The shading within the music is expertly laid down and over the course of the album it rarely jars regardless of how heavy or softly they want to tread.
Possibly it could be said that on this outing they are a bit more accessible, but I'm not the sort to have ever had an issue with that.
The more people hear Band of Skulls the better.
Check them out.

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