|Label||Tee Pee Records|
|Release Date||January 21, 2016|
|Score||4 out of 5|
NOTE: This review is focusing mainly on the two newly recorded songs as they woul appear in the 7” version of the release rather than the CD version featuring “A New Generation” from the band’s debut album and two live tracks.
The Skull was formed in 2012 by members (Namely Jeff Olson, Ron Holzner and Eric Wagner) of the band Trouble, named after the bands classic second album released in 1985. The band began mostly as a revisit of essential Trouble albums like the essential “Psalm 9” and previously mentioned “The Skull” but mostly the doom era of Trouble rather than the psychedelic sound they adapted in the 1990s. In 2014, The Skull released “For Those Which Are Asleep”, a glimpse into classic doom past with its own twists to give the band an identity of its own beyond covering classic Trouble and proved to be a stellar album by own accord. In 2016 to support opening for Sleep in Chicago and an extensive European tour (Including two nights at Roadburn!) an EP would be released with new recordings featuring the current lineup, one brand new and one revisiting doomed roots…
“The Longing” begins with a burst of drums and a wailing of guitars leading into a murky riff and Eric Wagner’s melancholy vocals. It’s every bit as gloomy as it is catchy with a lyrical delivery of love and tests of patience. At least that’s the impression from the lyrics of the song itself, musically for some reason reminds me of “At The End of My Daze”. The apple doth not fall far from thy tree and for that we should be grateful. Overall the one new song here is thunderous, lovable and a headbanging joy.
Now the other song is a re-recording of the song that spawned the band’s name itself. “The Skull” begins with a slightly different intro, opting for a more deeply electric strum in the looming intro of impending doom with an overall thicker production in the music itself, the riffs roaring inward and the drums crashing like an impending holy storm. Vocally, Eric Wagner’s vocal delivery is deceptively soothing. The up-tempo part of the song balances out Wagner’s trademark highs with a stark deepness to create a vocal duet in this dance of doom. Overall it’s a sonically deeper take on a Trouble classic but overall a fantastic b-side to this single.
Overall if you enjoyed “For Those Which Are Asleep” this EP is bound to make a perfect complimentary piece to the album itself, in essence being a continuation, a full-circle ode and an evolution all at once.
Originally sourced from Doodlehound blog, originally posted February 28, 2016. http://doodlehound.blogspot.com/2016/02/music-review-skull-skull-ep-tee-pee.html