Release Date: May 27, 2016
Record label: BMG
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
According to the press release, Band of Skulls see this album as the start of 'a new era' for them. They still sound very much like themselves though, with the addition of a few synths and with everything that makes up Band of Skulls kicked up a notch. It’s definitely a development, but not exactly the 'tightrope thing' they seem to think it is. Maybe these things sounded riskier in their heads? After the unnecessarily long drum intro of ‘Black Magic’ (the first of several too-long intros on the album), it becomes immediately clear that By Default is simply the logical next step for the Black-Keys-ripoffs.
Album review – British rockers Band Of Skulls add Iggy Pop and T.Rex to the mix on their fourth album Blues rock is very much like trench warfare – once you’ve dug yourself in, it’s virtually impossible to progress. So kudos to Southampton’s Band Of Skulls, erstwhile purveyors of mountain range blues epics and granite-guitar funk-outs, whose fourth album finds them bounding out of their furrow on kangaroo stilts of fresh ideas. They’ve grown a rock-wide reach.
Having spent the last five years or so rigorously touring, it’s probably a given that Southampton’s Band Of Skulls are rather knackered. The last two of those exhausting years followed the release of the band’s third album, Himalayan, a collection seen by the trio as a “coming of age”. Fourth album By Default was preceded in March by lead single Killer, and at the time the band declared they were entering a new era.