Band Of Skulls – Rock’s New Backseat Lovers

Dammit, I wish I still had my 1974 Chevy Monza. She was an old beater, white, with wood paneled interiors and an 8 track player. I only had 4 cassettes I picked up at a garage sale: Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, Foghat, Sweet and some musical (Chess?), but it was a bad-ass car. Not that I appreciated it when I was sixteen. Most of my friends got a Beemer or an Mercedes when they turned sixteen, just as they spent winters in Aruba, coming back from Christmas break with cornrows and hickeys.


No, I didn’t appreciate my $200 ’74 Monza beater. I berated it for not being a cool enough car to tool around in with my fellow cheerleaders. It wasn’t a flashy Iroc or a brand new mint Audi. So, I wasn’t that bothered when the Monza met an untimely end at the hand of Mike Ruffino’s station wagon in the high school parking lot…but I mourn the little Monza now. I wish I had it today. The first thing I’d do is cruise down Vine street while listening to UK act Band Of Skulls.


BOS played two back-to-back shows last night at the Viper Room and the Rumble at the 3 of Clubs. They were rowdy but intimate shows, where I stood close enough to see the rocknroll pores of the players. If you weren’t there, you won’t get to see pores anytime soon…rumor has it their next big US date will be Lollapalooza.

4681_84868182769_776832769_1716693_6296431_nphoto: Quinlan

Of course comparisons to this hard rock trio will undoubtedly mention two pieces like the Black Keys and The White Stripes. Sure, the bluesy rock riffs are similar, but only if Meg White could really sing – and play a mean bass line. There’s something more here than just another searing Wolfmother scorcher too. The songs are more complex, while at the same time being catchy with a classic rock feel. I don’t know why but I imagined making out to this music in the back of my Monza, with Sweet blaring through the open windows.


Maybe it’s the dual singer pairing of Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson’s vocals, Emma bringing the Chrissie Hynde/Heart feel while Russell howls a la White. Perhaps it’s the performance level, which is hard and tight but at the same time filled with space and pregnant, rock baby pauses. Perhaps it’s because they’ve recorded their first album at the musical Vatican – Radiohead’s Courtyard Studios. Or hell, maybe it’s because it just rocks – it doesn’t have to be smart or make sense if it moves you. And it made me want to move to the back seat. If you want to get in on their rise to the top, you can download their new Shangri-La Music release, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey.


I tunes had a free mp3 download too, for the broke and hungry. That might hold you over until you can catch them on tour with Brody Dalle’s Spinerette or at the Hammer Museum in July. Otherwise, for more skullduggery, you’ll have to beg me for a ride in my Monza.

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