The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Band of Skulls
I’ve been waiting impatiently for the I Fight Dragons debut LP. The Chicago-based band grabs attention with their unique and motivated sound. Instead of using just traditional instruments and standard programming, the band uses Nintendo and Gameboy sound chips and cards to create their retro-inspired beats that accompany their use of traditional instruments. So already, the sound is fascinating but here’s the trick for this band now and in the future. How do you keep yourself from being viewed as a gimmick band? The answer’s pretty easy. You make an album like “Kaboom!.” It’s not a perfect album, but it’s like other good albums. There are peaks and valleys. And there are great moments and dull moments too. But what’s impressive about what the band did here is they didn’t rely too much on anything. There are songs on “Kaboom!” where there’s a lot of 16-bit madness coming through, but there are also grungy dirt-rock moments too and cool pop songs as well. They don’t rely on anything exclusively and it’s a huge relief. The EPs that the band released are great and more than likable but if they made an album like the EPs and relied on their unorthodox programming then the album wouldn’t have worked. Luckily, Matt Mahaffey, most known for his band Self, did a brilliant job producing the music here and the band came up with some great songs. Lost in that are some tremendous lyrics written by Brian Mazzaferri on songs like “Kaboom!” and “cRaZie$.” This album isn’t a life alternative experience but it’s an enjoyable affair that turns out to be more than just a change of pace, it has some real viability to it.