A band on their second album, Southampton’s Band of Skulls have had to wait a while for their time in the limelight. Known for anthemic rock and guitar heavy sound, this is a band who mean serious business.
Their second offering ‘Sweet Sour’ is track after track of off the richter scale, no messing about rock. Dangerous and swaggering the opening title track is a perfect example of the bands ability to make enticingly catchy drum and guitar hooks with sing along lyrics. Second track ‘Bruises’ has also had some heavy radio air time, as it should. A simpering yet bubbling song which has uses breakdowns and sweet harmonies to reach an almighty climax, if the song was a physical conflict it would certainly leave some marks. Dark and menacing, the lyrics run opposite to give a backwards life of light.
Quietening down for ‘Wanderluster’, Band of Skulls flaunt their ability to create kick in the face rock as well as more delicate tracks while still keeping their trademark sound. Whipping back with a snarl ‘The Devil Takes Care Of His Own’ opens with a scuzzy riff that continues throughout the track while duet vocals from Russell Marsden (guitar) and Emma Richardson (bass) howl and croon in a glorious unison.
‘Your Not Pretty But You Got It Going On’ jumps into action with a galloping leap and low rattle. Racing towards an almighty end the song is a back handed compliment of sheer lust and heated feelings. The last big track of ‘Sweet Sour’ is ‘Lies’, an angry song of betrayal it whips with a largely female vocal marking it a interesting change of pace for the band.
Closing track ‘Close To Nowhere’ is a twinkling and delicate ballad so unlike the rest of the album. Still remarkably well composed it is sweetly sad and haunting. Pattering out ‘Sweet Sour’ in an uncharacteristic whimper, it raises an interesting question of what else the band could be capable of in the future.
For a band with just three members, Band of Skulls sure do know how to make some noise. Perfectly produced ‘Sweet Sour’ is the work of a band who know exactly when to hold back and when to let loose on the antics. An album of possible singles the band have really grabbed it out the bag with their second offering. Enormous in places and delicately withdrawn in others, ‘Sweet Sour’ is the work of a band at the top of their game who are only going to get better. Currently on tour and having supported the mighty Black Keys on three dates at the enormous Alexandra Palace, Band of Skulls are on their way to full scale stardom.