Nothing like a healthy dose of fuzzy garage rock to start the week right. English trio Band of Skulls brought their bluesy aggression and sharp harmonies to the Vogue Monday in support of newest record Sweet Sour.
While they sometimes get lumped together with the Kills, Band of Skulls are a much more melodic band — their songs stickier and sweeter. The dirty blues, next-gen Zeppelin riffs a la the White Stripes can get old, so it’s refreshing when a band doesn’t ignore the pop hook.
Opening the show was Brooklyn’s Boom Chick with their self-described “honky tonk surf rock.” The description fits. The duo of Frank Hoier on guitar and vocals and Moselle Spiller on drums take the male/female blues format made popular by the aforementioned Stripes and spin it on its ear, adding a healthy dose of rockabilly and early Americana. Hoier’s voice is really warm an engaging, a nice change from the disaffected female vocals or Robert Plant-esque wails typical from this style. Songs like Push Down and Twist and Temper Tantrum felt both nostalgic and invigorating — call it roadhouse speed — a tough mix to pull off. But pull it off they did. Boom Chick were hot!
If possible, Band of Skulls were hotter. Opening with Sweet Sour’s title track, the trio rarely pulled their foot off
the pedal, chugging from one raw, pulse-racing song to the next. While the new tunes were well-received, the tracks from the band’s first album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey whipped the Vogue crowd into a frenzy. The early one-two punch of Patterns and Fires got the audience jumping, and the slow burn of Cold Frame quickly turned into an audience sing-a-long.
Of the newer songs, Wanderluster was particularly stirring. But almost everything worked. The word that kept coming to mind during the 90 minute set was “torrid.” I Know What I Am, Light of the Morning, and Death by Diamonds and Pearls — each one killed. The set was furious and cathartic. A fantastic RAWK show.