Southhampton trio Band of Skulls will leave Black Keys and Black Mountain fans pretty happy with this gratingly titled but strong classic rock/garage full-length. The disc leads off with a few bluesy tracks that replace any instrumentally redundant flesh with effective vocal juxtapositions courtesy of singers Russell Marsden (guitar) and Emma Richardson (bass). Then the midsection slows for a stop in ballad country. Fires is a misfire, but the band regains control with Honest, a folksy saga that's one of the record's best tracks.
Thanks to iTunes' love-on for Band of Skulls, it seems unlikely they're going to disappear - and they don't deserve to. They've crafted an album that stands on familiar rock ground but isn't at all stock.
Top track: Light Of The Morning
Band of Skulls play an NXNE gig at the Mod Club June 19 and NXNE's MySpace Party at the Elmo June 20.