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Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, May 1st, 2014

Band of Skulls: Himalayan

band of skullsBand of Skulls
Himalayan
(Psycollective)

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With their third record, Band of Skulls have returned to prove that they deserve to stand with bands like The Black Keys as part of guitar rock’s resurgence in the mainstream. However, unlike some more popular bands (not to name names), Band of Skulls use Himalayan to show off their nuance by employing not just heavy riffs, but touches of sweet, sultry blues. The result is as beautiful and captivating as the cover art.

“’Cause where we are going is anyone’s guess,” Russell Marsden states on opening track, “Asleep at the Wheel.” Though it fits well with the song’s themes, the line also sounds like a challenge and a boast about the band’s direction. This is a band that will not settle into one genre or lazy writing. The massive swagger of the first track gives way to sleazy, slinky guitar and dialed-back vocals on the title track.

The interplay between Marsden and Emma Richardson’s vocals is always a pleasure, and Richardson’s performance on “Cold Sweat” is seductive and sweet even as the song sweeps from beauty into chaos. The two work together in perfect harmony on “You Are All That I Am Not,” another relatively delicate song that nicely breaks up the big rock tracks. “Toreador” takes the prize for my favorite track, with Matt Hayward’s drumming weighing in just as heavily as the vocals, bass, and guitar to drive this massive song forward to Zeppelin levels of rock.

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Band of Skulls: Himalayan