Baby Darling Doll Face Honey
Ever since the Rolling Stones covered various R&B tunes on their self-titled 1964 debut, hip kids around the world have gravitated to well-dressed U.K. musicians interpreting U.S. blues. Although most of the songs on Band of Skulls’ first album sound more stompy and dirty than anything recorded by their contemporaries, the Southampton power trio specialize in the kind of blues-tinged guitar-pop that resonates with tones closer to the likes of the Kills, the Black Keys and of course the White Stripes – especially the first two songs where singer/guitarist Russell Marsden inflects identically to Jack White. If not for the sultry and sublime voice of bass player/singer Emma Richardson, it would be easy to overlook Band of Skulls’ awesome songs and pan them as White Stripes copycats. But by the third track “I Know What I Am,” Richardson and Marsden’s call-and-response dynamic (as well as a shift toward more danceable songwriting) helps give Band of Skulls an identity all their own. The midtempo “Fires” is another stellar standout with Richardson’s vocals providing close harmonies this time around. A classical-sounding acoustic guitar opens “Honest” and, with Richardson taking the lead to sound like Feist fronting Black Mountain, we are left wondering how long before she births a solo debut?