As much as hard rock seems to have taken a very polarizing turn recently, bands either sound heavy but generic or to heavy, but some bands can still hit the right note without sounding like a throwback band. Uk’s Band Of Skulls do just that.
Talented, and unique doesn’t really do this band justice, there’s just so many points to grab onto here. Starting off with the gritty sound of guitarist Russell Marsden that has a really genuine rock sound to it, and some amazing sounding guitars that give the band its sound. But the talent powerhouse here is Emma Richardson, who pulls the triple threat of bassist, amazing vocalist (one of the best I’ve heard) and lastly does the amazing abstract cover art for each album.
The band’s debut Baby Darling Dollface Honey has some amazing songs. “I Know What I Am” chugs with some of the most addictive lines in a rock song, Richardson’s vocals sound commanding here. “Light Of The Morning” is as pure as riff-driven rock gets, it’s like ear candy to rock lovers. “Death By Diamonds and Pearls” doesn’t stop at its catchy verse and chorus but explodes during its bridge before coming back down to its amazing solo.
“Hollywood Bowl” is as close to party-rock as the band gets but it walks the line just right and the trading vocals just add to it’s hook. “Patterns” is an eerie but heavy song that keeps you hooked on every line as it switches gears so many times, but the song gives the album its high point on its bridge when it drops to a minimalist groove before roaring into its explosive finale.
The band’s follow up Sweet Sour, also gave some great songs. “Sweet Sour” relies on its clever lyricism “Sour by the minute, sweeter by the hour” is some genius, until it drops its bridge. “The Devil Takes Care Of His Own” has an unbelievably vicious chorus, and some uncontrollable bridges that feel like the band won’t be able to get a hold of them again.
I’m ending on their new single “Asleep At The Wheel” from their third album, Himalayan, which sounds like the bands take on Wolfmother.