Band of Skulls | Sweet Sour

Electric Blues/Vagrant
By REYAN ALI  |  February 15, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

Band of Skulls aren't innovators, and they probably won't ever be. They tend to be too predictable with song structures, too vague with lyrics, too indebted to their predecessors, and too staid to put all these components together creatively enough to make you overlook the shortcomings. That said, they are a hell of a band if you're looking for catchy rock with occasional sparks of brilliance (i.e., good driving music). The Southampton, England, trio debuted in 2009 with the equally solid Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, and have a steady hand for penning chunky, able-bodied melodies in the garage-and-indie-rock-gone-classic-rock mold. (It's easy to imagine these guys fitting in at Woodstock.) Per its title, Sweet Sour enjoys juxtaposing tones: "Hometown" evokes the moody haziness of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game"; "Bruises" and "The Devil Takes Care of His Own" boast wry, deliberate ferocity; and "Navigate" features a guitar line that's transcendental in its gloominess. Middlebrow doesn't need to mean mediocre, which makes Sweet Sour and Band of Skulls fine — and fun— for what they are. To quote Baby Darling's best-known verse, "I know what I am/They know what they are/So let me be."

BAND OF SKULLS + WE ARE AUGUSTINES | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | March 26 @ 7 pm | $15 | 18+ | 617.562.8800

Related: Die Antwoord | Ten$ion, Spiritualized | Sweet Heart Sweet Light, Alabama Shakes | Boys & Girls, More more >
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