Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Album Review: By Default by Band of Skulls

After years of constant touring and accomplishing all that they've set out to do musically, what's next for the Band of Skulls?  They tore the motherfucker down and built something even better.  That's what's next.

Band of Skulls entered the studio with Producer Gil Norton (the man behind Foo Fighters The Colour and the Shape and more recently The Virginmarys Divides) and stripped down their sound for an all out rock attack.  After gracing large stages and playing to millions of adoring fans the Band of Skulls have managed to bring their sound back to the grittiness of a garage band without losing the essence of where they have been.  Straight out of the gate they hit you with the brute force of "Black Magic" and then the momentum really builds.

Gone is the overdubbing and vocal effects of Himalayan and in are three minute, hard hitting tracks that come right for your jugular.  Their signature bluesy sound is still there but it is complimented with muscle rock, power pop, and a little bit of soul. Their first album for BMG is an homage to bands that they have toured with and influences alike.  Emma's vocals shine bright on "So Good" like a funky Karen O. You can hear Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on "This is my Fix", Muse on "Little Momma", and even a little Prince in "Something".

More than anything else, By Default is strong from beginning to end.  It doesn't bog you down in long winding riffs.  It does its job and walks away.  There's not a clunker in the lot.  It's their most straight forward and focused release to date. If this is the direction they are heading I can not wait to see where the road leads.  They are gearing up to hit the road again this fall and they'll be showcasing themselves in smaller venues playing this music they way it is intended to be heard.  Be prepared to be blown away.

By Default is available 5/27 on vinyl and digital download at the Band of Skulls store. Pick up a copy today!

See you when the needle drops!


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