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Call Me Lightning - Soft Skeleton

  by Paul Raven

published: 18 / 6 / 2007

Call Me Lightning - Soft Skeleton
Label: French Kiss Records
Format: CD


Irreverent, schizophrenic-sounding post-punk from Milwaukee trio, Call Me Lightning

Let's talk about the merits of simplicity for a moment. Now, I'm no enemy to complex intricate progressive rock music – in fact I'm very fond of it indeed. But I know good hooks when I hear them, and I know the power that they have when delivered properly. So do Call Me Lightning. 'Soft Skeletons' showcases the spacious sound of a three-piece who have realised that the spaces between the notes and chords are just as important as the sounds themselves. The music breathes, pulses like an adrenaline-pumped vein; full of bright jangling chord chops, simple three note riffs and repetitive lead lines, the whole band is the rhythm section. Everything here works together like a single well-tuned machine, high-paced and straining at the leash. There's a lot of this sparse and angular Nu-New-Wave post-punk music about at the moment, but much of it seems more concerned with simply looking sharp, evoking a bygone era with little attempt at commentary or detailed examination ... in other words, it's pop music. Which isn't inherently a bad thing – there's good pop as well as bad – but it's refreshing to find a band bringing a little bit of genuine mania to the proceedings. Call Me Lightning's lyrics are delivered in an edge-on schizoid style, moving from conspiratorial mutterings to manic screeching and back again, often within the space of a single line. This sense of barely-maintained control contrasts brilliantly with the elegant precision of the music, evoking the atmosphere of psychobilly without necessarily following its formula. It's the sense of the absurd that does it for me, I think. 'Soft Skeletons' doesn't take itself too seriously – at least not beyond making sure the music works like it should. This sense of irreverence allows the songs to explore landscapes that more serious bands lock themselves out of all too easily. Call Me Lightning have remembered something very important, that falls by the wayside a little too often – music can be fun, for the musician and the listener at once. If this album doesn't get your foot tapping and your jaw grinning, it's more than possible that you're already dead.

Track Listing:-
1 Meet The Skeletons
2 Billion Eyes
3 Bottles And Bottles
4 Beaming Streaks
5 Soft Skeletons
6 Nobody Dies
7 Filthy Information
8 Shook House Shakedown
9 Shadow Twin
10 Little Bear
11 Return As A Child

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