While Band of Skulls might not be a band name you know off the top of your head, you are sure to have heard them before without knowing it. The group has been featured in many popular shows as background music, affecting everyone from Twihards to the more cultured Top Gear fans. Rather regular on their album releases, their latest, By Default, comes out nigh exactly two years from their last release. However, being considered indie and being so vastly dispersed through show-genres as they have been, how exciting can the album really be?
There is nothing limp-wristed about this band or album. The band’s music is at home anywhere from in a smoky bar to on the radio as evidenced by their back-log of TV spots, and this album is no exception. By Default is a driven assemblage of heavy indie and blues that would unseat even the generally-accepted “best” indie album from the throne. The album starts the kindly groove-assault with “Black Magic” and only lightens once it meets the finish line of the final three tracks with lighter indie style songs, “In Love by Default,” “Erounds,” and “Something.” It has got it all from simple but perfect guitar lines, spot on drums and manages to be full of excellent, honestly catchy and memorable lyrics such as the frame lyric on “Bodies,” “Sorry to Stop/But I really wanted something.” The must hear track of the album however is “Embers,” a lament of a failed or failing romance, with great sound shifts from a kind of murky verse section to a loud, epic chorus.
Band of Skulls have delivered a gorgeous album, a beautiful combination of blues, indie and rock. While you might not have noticed them while watching your dramas, you should just turn off the Twilight, forget about it, and spend your time on better things, like this album. By Default is, start to finish, a no lose situation.