I know my musical tastes vary and that more often than not I’m singing the praises of the dance-y, pop-y, upbeat new jams in the Indie Rock-verse. But sometimes, you just want good old-fashioned guitar-heavy rock n’ roll to fill your ears with…and when that urge hits, I know I can turn to the UK trio Band of Skulls to lay down the riffs.
You may know Russell Marsden, Emma Richardson and Matt Hayward from their song ‘Friends’ which appeared on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack or you may have been swayed to buy a Mustang in 2009 when their track ‘Light of The Morning’ came through your TV while boasting the epic coolness of that Detroit muscle. Personally, I fell in love with the band the first time I heard the breakout single from their debut record Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, ‘I Know What I Am’ and then last year I was propelled to true fandom after seeing them lay it down at Bonnaroo with a performance that was nothing short of mighty.
With the February release of their sophomore album Sweet Sour, a study in Southern garage-rock by way of Britain that has the power trio doing what they do and doing it very, very well, Band of Skulls cements themselves firmly into the upper echelon of Alt Rock. The title track gets under your skin from the start with its spine-tingling hammer-ons and the simplicity of the guitar-bass-drums combination somehow ends up sounding utterly complex. Yes, you’ll be reminded of Black Sabbath, The White Stripes, or Zepplin – but that’s sort of the point. Band of Skulls are a modern homage to all that long-haired rock that has come before and we headbangers thank them for it. Because really, the world could do with a little less “artists” that have come from reality shows and a lot more true rock gods. Oh, and a band that features a bad-ass female slappin’ the bass is always a good thing in my book.
The video for ‘Sweet Sour’ is so grimy it’s amazing. This little band of ragamuffin kids roam back alleys causing trouble and looking tough while the song unfurls smooth and swelling underneath. Having hip-hop dance battles between unwashed youths go down as a hard-rock jam plays is something that has been missing from music videos for far too long, don’t you think?
See Also: ‘Bruises’ and ‘Death By Diamonds and Pearls’