Band Of Skulls : Sweet Sour
Subscribe
X

Get the latest from Beat

Band Of Skulls : Sweet Sour

bandofskulls-sweetsour.jpg

I feel as though Sweet Sour, the third album from English trio Band Of Skulls, has been released ten or so years too late. While the album would have had the perfect home in the early ’00s wave of Elephant’s and Pawn Shoppe Heart’s, today Sweet Sour’s basic rock’n’roll and flirting-with-pop sound feels clichéd. 

Opener is the title track Sweet Sour, sounding as though ripped straight from The Dead Weather; big riffs, a corny guitar solo and the duel vocals of guitarist Russell Marsden and bassist Emma Richardson all sound like the perfectly dishevelled ingredients in the manufacturing of an energetic pop rock song.

Marsden has a clear prowess in the guitar-playing department; the opening circulation of guitar in You’re Not Pretty But You Got It Goin’ On almost gives hint to something exciting, but when he ruins the moment with the guitar solo-equivalent to jerking off, the surprise is gone.

What Band Of Skulls do manage to do well is create different moods – the sweet and the sour; the album is not a constant barrage of distorted riffs but successful moves into calmer territories, such as Lay My Head Down, which displays a prettier side to Richardson’s vocals and Marsden’s guitar.

Sweet Sour is incredibly polished, and for the softer songs, such as Bruises and the aforementioned Lay My Head Down, the clarity contributes to the delicate patina. While the cleanness of the timbre of the album leaves many of the songs feeling a little overly-orchestrated, the genuine tenderness of the quieter songs does manage to even it all out.

It may not be a particularly compelling listen, but the album’s easy-to-consume nature will most likely work in their favour. The big riffs and the way in which Marsden and Richardson sing in unison are more appropriately built for the stage, because on record it all feels a little fake.

BY ALEXANDRA DUGUID

Best Track: You’re Not Pretty But You Got It Goin’ On

If You Like These, You’ll Like This: THE DEAD WEATHER, THE VON BONDIES, THE SUBWAYS
In A Word: Plain