Infinite Shuffle

June 29, 2012

119 – Band of Skulls

Filed under: B, England — assman41 @ 1:41 am

A lot of times, a band’s first big single stands as a beacon of things to come. Fans can latch on to that catchy song and expect to hear a similar sound on the rest of the album.

But it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes, a band’s big hit sounds nothing like the rest of the album.

Imagine if someone had first discovered Green Day by hearing “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”. Said person would be rather surprised, and possibly displeased, after listening to the rest of Nimrod.

That’s kinda the situation with Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, the 2009 debut from English alt-rock trio Band of Skulls. Its most recognizable song is “Light of the Morning”, which was not released as a single, but has been featured in commercials and movies.

While the song is pretty solid, it doesn’t mesh with many other tracks on the album — except maybe “Death By Diamonds and Pearls” and “I Know What I Am”. If you had only listened to that, you’d think Band of Skulls was nothing more than a derivative of the White Stripes.

But delve deeper and you’ll discover a band that has a lot more going on. In addition to their killer riffs, Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson do a great job backing up each other on vocals. And Matt Hayward’s drumming ties everything together.

Other strong songs on the debut disc include “Fires”, “Honest” and “Patterns”.

The group takes its melodic, blues rock to a slightly higher level on its latest release, Sweet Sour, which came out in February of this year. Rather than just churning out straight-forward rock, the Skulls soften it, in a similar manner that Silversun Pickups have mastered.

The top songs here are “Bruises” and “Lay My Head Down”, the latter of which is slowed down considerably and becomes something of a heavy ballad.

Other solid entries include the title track, “Wanderluster”, “Hometowns” and “Lies”.

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