CD Reviews

Band of Skulls – Sweet Sour

Band of Skulls - Sweet Sour

The sauce of Southampton delivers Sweet Sour, as Ian Davenport produces Band of Skulls’ latest release. Following the design of 2009’s Baby Darling Dollface Honey and 2010’s EP Friends; Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson return with their decided drawling harmonic vocals, power chords and primal percussion. Recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales, Sweet Sour follows the threesome on their two-year rise in media fame and recognition, including features in video games Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Gran Turismo 5, Tony Hawk: Ride, a spot for Swatch watches, the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack, an ad for the 2011 Mustang V6, and a trailer for The Hangover 2. With all the hallmarks of Band of SkullsVictoria Williams-variety vocal slur, Marsden and Richardson produce the strapping expected tracks (see Sweet Sour title track and The Devil Takes Care of His Own), yet manage to catch listeners off guard with melancholy echoes of Big Star in the butterfly-light breezy bit Hometowns. Opening with a hiss and rattle on the title track, Sweet Sour is also detected in a little thematic recognition in You’re Not Pretty, But You’ve Got It Going On. With a thump and grind, Leaning toward slightly monotone, Band of Skulls‘ sound is still playlist-worthy and entertaining. Maintaining their sound stamp, threads of Heart (a la Crazy On You) and even a little something Jefferson Airplane surfaces from the chordal depths. The trio retreats into the rocky mists on Close to Nowhere, leaving listeners in a Sweet Sour haze.

Sheila Quinn

Key Tracks: Sweet Sour, The Devil Takes Care of His Own, Hometowns, Close to Nowhere

Moods: Atmospheric, Stylish, Brooding, Hypnotic, Rebellious

Buy: Sweet Sour