Release Date: Jul 8, 2008
Record label: PPM
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
With the success of bands like Health and No Age, the pressure was really on for fellow Los Angeles noise punks Abe Vigoda to carry the torch lit at the Smell. On Skeleton, their third album overall and first for Dean Spunt's (No Age) PPM label, the band steps it up accordingly, and offers listeners a compelling cross section of what's currently happening in the indie underground. They share No Age's penchant for noisy dissonance (as heard on the instrumental "Whatever Forever" and "Visi Rings") and Health's clattering, frenetic drumming style, but on the majority of the record, Abe Vigoda's newfound interest in tropical and world music takes the forefront, their reverbed guitars even going so far as to mimic the sound of steel drums.
Abe Vigoda are most often referenced in any review, story, Twitter post, and Facebook group pertaining to No Age (they're the actor Abe Vigoda, say, to No Age's Marlon Brando) and, more specifically, the Smell, the all-ages club the frequent with like-minded bands including HEALTH and Mika Miko. But with their third full-length, Skeleton, Abe Vigoda make the case for being more than a parenthetical context reference. The No Age reference is relevant, though: No two bands in the L.A.
Skeleton is actually Abe Vigoda’s second LP, but it might as well count as their first. Sky Route/Star Roof was released back in 2005, when L.A. was still mostly off the underground’s map, as it had been throughout most of the ’90s, when looking into the city’s factional underground scene apparently didn’t occur to many people. If it had, though, the New Yorker’s 2007 profile of The Smell and its primary ambassadors, No Age (Abe Vigoda, HEALTH, and Mika Miko also have a first-degree relation to the downtown venue) wouldn’t have been as surprising as it was.