Release Date: Jul 28, 2009
Record label: Artist First
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Southhampton trio Band of Skulls will leave Black Keys and Black Mountain fans pretty happy with this gratingly titled but strong classic rock/garage full-length. The disc leads off with a few bluesy tracks that replace any instrumentally redundant flesh with effective vocal juxtapositions courtesy of singers Russell Marsden (guitar) and Emma Richardson (bass). Then the midsection slows for a stop in ballad country.
Band of Skulls are a bit rough around the edges. This is surely something they’d be proud of. On Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, their debut, the band specializes in boozy stomps, strained yelps, and fuzzed-out guitar riffs as wide as a Georgia Highway. Pure rock and roll, one might say: messy and loud and featuring intentionally-poorly-thought-out lyrics (not to imply that “Hotel/Taco Bell”, from their “I Know What I Am” is not an inspired couplet).
Following in the footsteps of both The Kills and The White Stripes, Band of Skulls' debut sounds like a slicker, poppier version of The Dead Weather. This Southampton, U.K. trio is clearly talented and, with time and by taking a few more risks in terms of song structure and production, could develop into a successful project. Most of the songs on Baby Darling Doll Face Honey have forgettable lyrics, bland, fuzz-wah guitar noodling, and an overwhelming sense of melodrama.