# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Band of Skulls - By Default

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 3 / 7 / 2016

Band of Skulls - By Default
Label: BMG
Format: CD


Stunning fourth album from anthemic Southampton-based rock outfit, Band of Skulls.

‘By Default’ is the fourth album by British band Band of Skulls and it follows on from their 2014 album ‘Himalayan’. Band of Skulls have described their first three albums as a kind of trilogy, so were looking for something of a departure this time around. After two years of solid touring, thety unusually chose to record the album in a Baptist church in their native Southampton. It certainly sounds like it has had a positive effect as ‘By Default’ is pretty much hit after hit from start to finish. Gil Norton was at the helm for production duties, and, having previously worked with such heavy hitters as Pixies, Foo Fighters and Patti Smith, he is no stranger to helping make huge hits and has definitely added some of his sonic magic to the band’s sound. ‘Black Magic’ sets the pace for the album, but does not give everything immediately away. By the time you get to recent single and third track, ‘Killer’ the doors have been kicked truly open, and the real hits start to come out, all with massive chorus lines. As the band are lined up to play more than their fair share of festivals around the world this summer I have no doubt that newer numbers, such as ‘Bodies’ with its disco stomp, will get the crowds jumping as easily as the band’s previous material. Nothing is too hard going on ‘By Default’. While it could never be described as throwaway, it takes no time at all for the songs to nestle themselves in your head. ‘So Good’, which has been another single, is an absolute stormer, with both a bass groove that would shame George Clinton and a hint of glam rock about it. It also features more vocals from Emma Richardson who on this occasion takes over vocal duties from Russell Marsden. The contrast between the female and male vocals throughout the album gives ‘By Default’ more depth. While the two do not sound like chalk and cheese, there is enough tonal variation to round the band’s sound off. Everything is held down perfectly by Matt Hayward’s drums which have a gorgeous echo to them. He definitely appears to have made full use of the church facilities. These little touches bring life to the album and into their sound.

Track Listing:-
1 Black Magic
2 Back of Beyond
3 Killer
4 Bodies
5 Tropical Disease
6 So Good
7 This is My Fix
8 Little Mamma
9 Embers
10 In Love by Default
11 Erounds
12 Something

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