mon 23/04/2018

CD: Band of Skulls - Sweet Sour | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Band of Skulls - Sweet Sour

CD: Band of Skulls - Sweet Sour

Southampton trio's second album proves a smokin' lesson in grown-up garage rock

Sweet Sour, a hefty handful of amped up blues

The credibility of blues-rock has ebbed and flowed wildly for 40 years. Once upon a time it was simply the common currency for all major British and American rock bands, as exemplified by Led Zeppelin. Punk’s Seventies heyday put the kybosh on all that and blues-rock has been a less loved creature since, redolent of lazy parochial pub jam bands. However, from George Thorogood and the Destroyers to the White Stripes via Mississippi’s Fat Possum Records, it’s also become a major niche flavour for connoisseurs of raw guitar Americana - the scuzzier, the better.

Leading the contemporary blues-rock charge are Ohio’s The Black Keys whose current tour support are Band of Skulls, a new-ish three-piece from Southampton. The latter’s second album doesn’t throw anything especially new in the musical stew pot - ingredients include every proper noun in the first paragraph - but this doesn’t matter much for three good reasons. First, singing bassist Emma Richardson punctures the sweaty masculinity of the genre, bringing a melancholy vocal sweetness, even a doomed, vaguely Velvet Underground-ish vibe to slow numbers such as "Navigate" and "Home Town". Second, the trio have an R.E.M-like ear for harmonic pop (you’d never guess they were English rather than American). Third, when they riff, they do it hard and tight, and garage grunge stingers such as “Close to Nowhere” and the single "The Devil Takes Care of His Own" demonstrate confidently that there’s plenty of room outside heavy metal for a tasty traditional axe attack.

Band of Skulls look and sound like a group on the verge of larger success and songs such as the more conventional, albeit fierce, FM radio rock of “Wanderluster” intimate that they're ready to step into the wider world of pop. From the sound of Sweet Sour, their impact there would be no bad thing.

 Watch the video for "The Devil Takes Care of His Own"

Band of Skulls look and sound like a group on the verge of larger success


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Check out (and like) some Favorite New Rock Singles for Early Spring 2012, featuring the song " Sweet Sour" by Band of Skulls:

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