Sweet Sour

Studio Album by released in 2012
Sweet Sour's tracklist:
Sweet Sour
Bruises
Wanderluster
The Devil Takes Care Of His Own
Lay My Head Down
You're Not Pretty But You Got It Goin' On
Navigate
Hometowns
Lies
Close To Nowhere

Sweet Sour review

The Southampton’s trio release a long-anticipated second record

Perhaps, thirty eight minutes might be a little bit less than what one would want to get from a band that released its previous studio record three years ago, but that is the length of the new album just delivered by the great rock ensemble Band Of Skulls from Southampton, England. In fact, it would be wrong to assume that, after their debut long player Baby Darling Doll Face Honey was out, the three-piece outfit got complacent and went to waste their time. On the heels of their first success, the English musicians toured back and forth across the Kingdom to give a countless number of concerts. Their fresh product is called Sweet Sour and stylistically picks up what was left by its predecessor. Band Of Skulls are still loyal to their song-writing views and keep building on classic rock sound with leaning to blues traditions. And it still remains unclear how a band of just three members manages to create as consistent music works.

As before, rock and roll dominates Band Of Skulls music

Sweet Sour is more polished and elaborate in its sounding than the former record, which looks very logical if we consider the ensemble’s natural desire to reach out for a wider audience accustomed to pop standards. However, this does not affect the content of the music material whatsoever. The opener, Sweet Sour is pure rock and roll, but what is most pleasant is that there is no attempt to copy anybody, but only the band’s love for the genre itself. This sweeping and flaming song is one of Band Of Skulls best so far. Yet the following one, Bruises, is hardly less impressive, albeit it is much calmer and reserved. There is a certain influence from the folk side, but, as usual with Band Of Skulls, all the borrowings are strictly limited. This is why a rhythm-alternating experiment applied on Wonderluster comes in handy and looks like a reasonable measure. Not one experiment, but flawless and seamless interaction between guitar and drums is offered on The Devil Takes Care Of His Own, and You’re Not Pretty But You Got It Goin’ On. These songs are secured variants aimed at true loud and festive rock fans. Should Band Of Skulls have recorded the whole album Sweet Sour like these two, that would have been a profitable move. Yet the ensemble chose a different path.

Small and pleasant surprises on Sweet Sour

Having provided their new record with plenty classic rock and roll material fitting to raise hell at a concert, Band Of Skulls also thought making a couple of different songs. The first one of them, Lay My Head Down, changes the mood of the record abruptly. Elegant, lyrical and very beautiful, it introduces a new, as yet undiscovered, side of Band Of Skulls. The band develops this direction with a very quiet and lulling track called Hometowns, and a very melodious tune named Close To Nowhere. Vocalists Emma and Russell, who have been taking turns behind the microphone throughout the album, finally sing together on this one. As a result, the trio prepared a very powerful ending to their very powerful record. Some might even like the ballad part better for finer lyrics and more emotional and honest vocals. But you have to admit that the band is good at keeping a perfect balance between the songs of both types, and it is clear the musicians enjoy playing each one of them. As a conclusion, Sweet Sour, on the one hand, continues the musical ideas of the debut work by the English trio, and on the other hand, it displays their higher professional level and more flexible song-writing.

Alex Bartholomew (07.03.2012)
Rate review2.25
Total votes - 12


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