There’s Lana Del Ray. Grimes. Sleigh Bells.
All set to make waves this year. Your playlist has room for each.
But Band of Skulls are the ones to know now. For one simple reason:
When you watch Band of Skulls play live you will watch Band of Skulls play live.
You’ll be focused and free. A bit in love. Since when does music still make you feel like that?
I first saw them through the sweat of a Tennessee night. Hot for fun. Loud, dirty, spontaneous. In search of a surprise. There was a crowd, big. It knew something I didn’t. Some kids were dressed in full haberdasher threads. I could barely stand the heat of my flip-flops. One guy near me had what looked like a full-on ’Nam flashback, burrowing into shallow sand, covering his body and face until the epileptic urge inside him eased. My girl beside me. It was good. It was, of course, Bonnaroo.
I later realized that (2009’s) Baby Darling Doll Face Honey is a helluva debut. Equal parts barbeque and honey. Three skulls. They all write. They can all play. They don’t take songs off.
Last fall they rolled through Ontario and Quebec. Story had it they were live-testing bits of their next album. They played The Garrison, this small club with a small bar and a small stage and they lit it up. They played new stuff called “Wanderluster” and “Devil Takes Care Of His Own.” Just about all of Baby Darling, too. Their hair looked way too good for being so long.
They play rock that works. Bonnaroo knew. Rolling Stone (“Best at SXSW”) and SPIN (“Best at Coachella”) approve. They cover Young (“Don’t Let It Bring You Down”) and Dylan (“It Ain’t Me, Babe”). This month they’re home rolling the UK with the Black Keys. Even the movies (21 Jump Street) and the TV (Hugo Boss, Mustang spots) are getting it right on these guys.
Their new album’s called Sweet Sour. That about says it. They’re putting it out through their own imprint, Electric Blues Recordings, with an assist from Vagrant in the U.S. and the fine folks from PHI in Canada. It’s out on Valentine’s Day. A week earlier on iTunes.
These are some of the songs you’ll love this year.
1. Sweet Sour
4. Devil Takes Care Of His Own
5. Lay My Head Down
6. You Aren’t Pretty But You Got It Going On
10. Close To Nowhere
11. Such A Fool*
*Only the iTunes release includes this bonus track
Get an early taste at the band’s Soundcloud page: