Skull Defekts – Peer Amid

January 01, 1970

(Thrill Jockey)

 

www.thrilljockey.com

 

When the great Julian Cope
offers your band a public endorsement, you know you are on the right track.

 

And after five years of
gaining an impressive following on the psych/drone underground, these caustic
Swedes make good on the king druid of out-rock’s credible kudos with their most
accomplished title yet. On Peer Amid,
the group’s debut on the Thrill Jockey imprint, the Skull Defekts enjoy the
company of former Lungfish frontman Daniel Higgs, who gives the band a newfound
sense of vitality by providing them with one of the most unique voices in
American punk.

 

With Higgs at the fore, his
delivery of improvised shamanistic scatting, psychedelic soul singing and
conspiracy-riddled spoken word preaching makes for a quintessential fit for the
Skulls’ circular post-punk epics. “No More Always” choogles like
early Butthole Surfers with Higgs chanting the mantra “Nobody nothing
nowhere no more” like a man possessed, while the singer’s spiritual
intonations on “Gospel of the Skull” perfectly aligns itself with the
song’s raga-core riddims. The unholy combination of Higgs’ vocalizations and
the Skulls’ sonic propulsion reach meltdown status, however, on both the title
track and “What Knives”, reaching a fever pitch of Dadaist anarchy
like Captain Beefheart fronting Blueprints
for a Blackout
-era Ex.

 

While the permanence of this
union of Daniel Higgs and the Skull Defekts is uncertain, we should be grateful
that these disparate titans of experimental rock were able to cross paths at
least once on acetate in order to deliver this weird, wild bastard of an LP
that you can very well bet is in some kind of steady rotation on Julian Cope’s
hi-fi for 2011.

 

DOWNLOAD: “No More Always”, “Gospel of the Skull”, “Peer
Amid”, “What Knives” RON HART

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