Listening to Band of Skulls is always a little bittersweet for me, as the good friend who introduced them to me sadly passed away a little over three years ago, and any time I listen to them I see him raving about them, and us listening to them in the bar. I miss him; we would spend hours and hours just talking about music. But without him I may not have even heard of Band of Skulls. Sweet Sour and Himalayan have been regular albums on my rotation over the past four years, and I was super excited to get their fourth album, By Default, released today, May 27th!
Band of Skulls hail from Southampton, England, and have been around as a band since around 2008. The members are Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals), Emma Richardson (bass, vocals) and Matt Hayward (drums). They bring a fabulous heavy, funky and bluesy rock n roll vibe to the scene creating songs that make you want to move, dance, sing and throw some high kicks in the air. By Default doesn’t disappoint in that way at all (actually doesn’t disappoint in any way really) – the Band of Skulls sound is there, throwing you straight into dance mode on Black Magic. It’s great to hear Emma take the lead vocals on So Good, and I love the T-Rexy vibe on This Is My Fix. Killer, the first single, released earlier this year, kind of sets the precedence of the album with its awesome chorus. Nearly all of the songs on the album have killer hooks and awesome riffs, enough to forgive the (somewhat) lack of imagination in the lyrics department. If you want a good collection of rock n roll tunes for those long, hot summer nights ahead By Default is a great choice. I love how they continue to create music, avoid being repetitive and use their influences in a way that still showcases their own style.
For anyone who loves 70’s rock and bands like The Kills, BRMC, The Black Keys, The Dead Weather (all bands that they have supported in the past on tour).