If insanity really is doing the same thing over and over again, Band of Skulls may well have gone certifiably bananas during the recording of their second album. From the decent opening title track to the agreeable, folksy finale of ‘Close to Nowhere’ you get the impression that they only know how to write two types of songs – nicely worked out melodies, delivered at a slow-burning pace, on one side vs. blues rock, that makes them sound like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Southampton cousins, on the other.
It’s fine. But that’s all it is. While it’s true that picking out a complete dud anywhere in the ten tracks is difficult, it’s also hard to pinpoint a reason to return to the record for more than a fleeting listen to the odd tune. All things considered, perhaps the only real selling point is how they manage to keep the listener slightly off guard, waiting to see whether Russell Marsden or Emma Richardson (or a combination effort) takes the vocal lead on each track.
That sideshow can’t save some of the big letdowns here though, such as the final two minutes of ‘Navigate’ where yet another okay melody is sleep walked into oblivion by a band that seems in dire need of escaping their comfort zone. The amount of goodwill surrounding the trio gives the impression that there really is something worth taking notice of on Sweet Sour. The truth however is that you’ve heard everything here before – so grab an old favourite rather than listening to a new waste of time.