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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 3 January 2015
This their 2nd LP comes across like a more interesting expanded version of The White Stripes with a great pure drums guitar sound. Commences via a slow grinding heavy dirty bluesy rock'n'roll title track 'Sweet Sour' as it hammers the senses "sour by the minute but you're sweeter by the hour". 'Bruises' is similar fare whereas 'Lay My Head Down' is a reflective gentle piece. 'The Devil Takes Care Of His Own' engages an effective stop-start riffing - a certain heaviness but which is attractive. 'Wanderluster' is an ace wonderful luxurious power-drive of a number - it's like she's Luster and he tells her to go and wander "when you return I will be waiting in spite of all - that's gone before"... no wonder that some have said that this was the track/song of the year 2012. Then follows a beautiful 'Navigate' sung by Emma & sounding a bit like Daughter & is gentle & reflective "oh we're drifting out to sea, into deep water". 7th 'You're Not Pretty' is hard rock. 'Hometowns' folk acoustic guitar with gentle harmonies (almost CSNY / S&G) "to see what you have become". Then 'Lies' now back to a power-drive "lies are the truths that you tell to yourself". 10th 'Close To Nowhere' is more persuasive type gentle folk. Emma Richardson is quite an accomplished painter & this album was inspired by a series of paintings by her. In conclusion folk subtlety bombast & well-executed blues-rock.
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on 29 January 2013
Dollface may have been their debut, but this is the one that lifts Band of Skulls into a new arena! Deep down dirty rock n roll - 'Navigate' is just beautiful, 'Sweet Sour' hammers your skull like the first time you heard 'Sad but True'.....grow a beard. Buy some flares, pretend you're in 'frisco.........nod sagely and do your best 'devil horns'. Awesome.
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I first checked out Band Of Skulls when I saw they were going to be at the Isle Of Wight festival this year and, upon reading some very positive things about them, decided to take a punt of their latest album, Sweet Sour. It probably speaks volumes that, upon the first listen of their this album, I immediately ordered their début album - it is that good. Given the obvious influences, it's almost a surprise that they're from Hampshire rather than somewhere like Alabama. There are definitely echoes of The White Stripes (albeit with a fuller sound), with plenty of punchy, bluesy, riff-driven tracks and lots of brilliantly dirty guitar solos. The first two tracks, Sweet Sour and Bruises are such animals, being bold, dramatic statements of intent. There are some gentler moments too, such as the tender Lay My Head Down, to add texture and dimension to proceedings which work just as well. Other highlights include The Devil Takes Care Of His Own, You're Not Pretty But You Got It Goin' On and Lies. It's such an immensely enjoyable album, it's over way too soon.
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on 18 May 2012
A very good friend played me a copy of this recently and I really enjoyed what I heard. The variety of music and energy of the players is great and I have it in my car, so listen to it quite a bit. Also bought a second CD by the same band. Although I can be classified as a "Wrinkly"/ "Silver Surfer"/ "Grey Nomad"/ Pensioner, I still enjoy a wide range of music and played drums, until two years ago, in a variety of bands from the age of 16! Bands like this make me miss playing.
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on 15 March 2012
Ok, So... i absolutely am a miserable old fart, who spouts forth with fervour and without drawing breath about the lack of anything worthwhile in modern mainstream formulaic music. So imagine my suprise when i stumbled across these guys, during a recent re kindled relationship with radio one! Band of Skulls take us on an epic musical journey, full of atmosphere and beautifuly laid back melodies, this is music to chill to with a real ale/glass of red/single malt etc. It's so refreshing to hear something original, memorable, profound, and with the class to bring together the different strands of 40 years of modern rock music and appeal to young and, er-hum..not so young alike!! There is some stunning guitar work, which at times reminded me a little of first, Wishbone Ash, with their feedback techniques, and then, the brashness of Bernie Torme during his tenure with Gillan. The composistions exhibit beauty light and shade throughout, this is real soul food from some genuinly gifted and talented young song writers and musicians, not quite sure how it managed to get on to radio one, he said,bitchily!! ( I think Ferne C.is a bit of a rock chic on the quiet, but i'm guessing that won't pay her salary!) buy it, sit back relax and enjoy, Oh, and by the way, the first album is just as good! ...Look out for this band, they're only going to get bigger and better ( not sure the second bits possible!!)
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on 20 February 2012
Some songs, such as Hometowns and Close To Nowhere, sound a bit similar (yet they're both astounding songs), and Wanderluster might be a tad off-putting for the average listener, due to the odd time signature. Its less riffy and electric-guitar orientated than their debut, but its still a fantastic piece of work. Highlights are probably the first four tracks and Hometowns.
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on 4 December 2012
Another great album from this band.
A bit less straight than the first one, but still has their great uplifting sound.
A great collection of tracks to just kick back too, you can really listen, but you can just let it riff through too.
I was also, so surprised to find out that they were from Southampton, as I had also downloaded -
Blind Man's Vision, some times the light never comes, another brilliant vintage style affair, the same day.
They too are from the same city!
Must be something in the water down south!
Sometimes the Light Never Comes
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on 8 June 2014
I reviewed another of the Band of Skulls CD's. Both of them were purchased at the same time which should be testament to their performance first heard within the context of a program on television. I recommend this CD.
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on 29 February 2012
I was raised on a diet of classic rock and found this album very comforting - I feel like a seven year old in the back of my Dad's capri again!

There was a self-conscious irony about the wave of rock bands preceding 'Band of Skulls' - The Datsuns, The Darkness et al. The way they brazenly displayed their influences as if they knew they ought to be ashamed of something but felt that attack was the best form of defence seemed to limit them to producing simple homages to their heroes. No such qualms here, Band of Skulls happily rock out without reserve allowing them to build on their influences and bring the rock sound up to date.

The lyrical rhythm of the title track is very infectious and the time signature of Wanderluster provides an added dimension of interest in the album. The sound is rather heavily produced, however, and lacks the rawness of the Datsuns'. I think this is the major flaw because towards the end of the album the tracks start to blur into one another.

It is a very easy listen though and is keeping me entertained on my daily drive to work. Definitely worth a look
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on 17 April 2012
Sweet Sour sums up the album I guess. It has some outstanding tracks, and some less so, and I don't just mean the ballad-y types. Live, they're ace, but like most studio performances, this doesn't quite capture the moment. It's definitely a grower, and will no doubt grow on me further, but I'm going to file this one under "enigmatic".
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