Years ago I was introduced to Band of Skulls by one of the music directors at iTunes and I’ve been a fan of them ever since. Back then they had just released their debut album and they’ve had a good run as a career band. They didn’t take off quite like many of us thought they would, but far more importantly they’ve been able to do what they love and we’ve been lucky enough to hear them do it. Four albums in now, their most recent release is “By Default”.
Four albums in, Band of Skulls doesn’t do that much different than what they did when they started out. They make retro/blues rock with hooks and dual vocalists. It’s what they’re good at and it doesn’t need to change. On “By Default” if they are doing anything different it’s that they’re turning things into slightly more cheerful approach. Songs like “Back of Beyond” insert some much needed energy into the set here and it keeps the album from turning into the harsh drone that we had with some of the previous three albums. The other difference here is that Russell Marsden is doing even more of the majority of the vocals here while Emma Richardson takes the backing vocal road a bit more here than she’s done on previous albums. That seems to work here, and their harmonies when they both sing are still outstanding.
Band of Skulls fourth record, “By Default” is my second favorite album from the band behind only their debut album and my introduction to the band. The songs here are different enough to showcase some growth and the production is on point for the blues/rock outfit. This band has been consistent through their career and this is another notch in that belt. It’s a damn good record that you should listen to as soon as possible.