17 January 2013

Band of Skulls - Baby Darling Doll Face Honey

Now this is a little unexpected. Band of Skull are from Southampton, Southern England and have been around since 2004.  This was the debut album released in 2009 and they have released a second album in 2012, with an EP inbetween.  They have had songs on various soundtracks including a Twilight film and have had success around the world, including across the pond in America and Canada.  A three piece which splits vocals between a boy and a girl (Russell Marsden & Emma Richardson). Together with Matthew Hayward they have been making a name for themselves and it is one I have heard of, but ignored.......until a request came through to listen to them. Been advised to start with the second album, but for once I've decided to do this in order and have gone for their first album which you are reading about here.

Now the first impression is a strong one, the opening tracks of "Light of The Morning", "Death by Diamonds & Pearls" & "I Know What I Am" just seem to be one of the biggest strongest opening I have heard for a while. Out of nothing I am hanging on and hoping the rest of the work is as good.  For what they do, it is a mixture of blues, indie, garage and it could only have come from England. It is like Yorkshire Puddings, Noel Coward, unrealistic football club dreams, James Bond and poor bus and train services - there is something so English about it, you can feel it pouring out of the album. "Impossible" is a fantastic track which could light up a festival and "Patterns" is just a riff that Led Zeppelin would like back after Band of Skulls have stopped having fun with it - but it is now theirs. When this band rocks out, it is fantastic.

However, the band does the slow ending of an album. And not just the ending tracks, it slows down about three songs before the end.  And when this album is slow it does not work as well.  It goes from being an interesting monster to a docile Hector who does not want to do music, let alone entertain. It is not that they are played band, it's just they don't have the instant connection that the other tracks do. They might be growers but there is too much of that on here. If it had have been trimmed down slightly, this would have been a killer debut. It is a decent debut all the same, but not as immediate as I was hoping after that opening trio of joy.  A good start then, if not amazing....but those first three tracks are brilliant.

6.5 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

You can purchase from here

You can listen to on Spotify here

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