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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Ever since the BAND OF SKULLS CD, "Baby Darling Doll Face Honey" (Shangri-La Records) arrived into the FS offices, it's been played non-stop, on the way home, in the shower. I know we're only almost into June, but I'll go out on the limb and say it's my favorite record thus far of 2009. When we got the opportunity to have them play our west coast RUMBLE parties, we didn't hesitate. June 3rd they'll grace our Rumble: SF party at Harlot, and then ramble down to LA for the 3 Clubs blowout, the night before their KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic performance.

Also making the voyage, all the way from Chicago is the mighty APTEKA. We'll be doing another post on them coming up with some free downloads, and we featured them back on Future Sounds 27, but think the best of the PUMPKINS meets JANES ADDICTION. A band we love from SF is doing the rubber match this month after playing a previous Rumble SF, and this time joining us in LA - FRENCH MIAMI.

So back to "Baby Darling Doll Face Honey" - our favorite disc slipped into our cocktail this spring. Opening up with the epic, Zepplen-esque "Light Of The Morning", you know you're into something special here. Like The Dodgers' Orlando Hudson, batting second is the brilliant "Death By Diamonds & Pearls" it's at this point of the disc, only the second song in, that I began to realize the importance of this record, sort of like when I first heard the White Stripes, and you just knew it in your bones that this band will be a force. Band of Skulls mix the perfect blend of brute force with a point of view, tenderness with some wit.

"I Know What I Am" has the catchy male/female back-and-forth between Emma and Russell that continues throughout the record, balancing each other from going too creamy in one direction, like "Honest" which sounds like Fairport Convention or straight off the soundtrack from the original WICKER MAN or "Bomb" which gets vicious and furious and heavy in another.

"Fires" is another favorite, again Russell and Emma weaving in and out, claiming "
it's the fall of rock and roll, that's what the news say", but nothing could be further from the truth, this record shows that RnR is still alive and very healthy. "Patterns" is another standout in an album of standouts, this is where you begin to realize how deep and diverse this band can be, firm but loving, confident yet vulnerable.

Of course the "hit" is "Hollywood Bowl" and even though they use Taco Bell in a verse, the song is incredible, going from catchy to a kick-your-face-in jam out. This is the place for an introduction, then its a slippery slope into the rest of the album. "Impossible" has this U2 grandness, as in a "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" feel.

"Blood" then drips in, almost slithering, bluesy and dirty, cosmic in a Jefferson Airplane kind of way, with Emma becoming Grace. At this point the record has taken you on such a trip you feel that you need a vacaction from the punishment, and there sits "Dull Gold Heart".

The album closes with the absolutely gorgeous "Cold Fame", a statement that this band isn't just a rocker.

We're going to wear this record out, you'll do the same.
"Baby Darling Doll Face Honey", your new favorite record. Make sure you don't miss the Rumbles in June.

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