Many of us lately are struggling to find that one thing we need to add a little bit more excitement to our lives in the absence of normality. With their latest release, “Dots” – Nearly Skulls have done that. The rock trio from Manchester, who show off their likeness to U2 and The Who let the music do the talking, whilst the band members themselves have revealed very little – leaving us as listeners to join the dots.
The release of “Dots” comes ahead of their debut album “Bucket Listening”, which is due to be released on the 30th July.
The album opens with a powerful track, “Animals” which immediately caresses your ears with the warm who-esque crunch of the guitar. The song addresses many issues that the planet faces today, “Suffocating trees” and being “Played for fools” – reminds us of the day-to-day opinions of many around the world.
The next track is “Busted Flush” – which has all of the key qualities to any song; a catchy riff, flowing melody and a bold structure overall. The song was released as a single towards the end of March, and it’s still as much of an easy listener now!
“Headphones” follows the rhythmic “Busted Flush” – one of my favourite songs of the album. An upbeat track that reminds you of the times that we could watch our favourite shows live – with all senses alight. I will definitely be hoping to catch this one in person once we come back to some sort of normality. This is followed by “American Rules” which hints towards a country/folk beat but keeping Nearly Skulls’ deep-rooted rock influence.
“Please Stop” and “Move Along” show similarities in that they somewhat settle the mood of the album – however each has its’ own distinct difference.
“Please Stop” has a refined message of “Time to save the world” – which reflects current opinions over climate change and the way we as humans treat our planet. Meanwhile, “Move Along” points us towards the future and making progress as a global community.
“Never Look Back” lifts the mood of this incredible album once again, with a foot-tapping beat that has a clear message throughout of forgetting the past and being confident about what is to come.
Next up is Nearly Skulls’ latest release of “Dots”. Whose chorus “I’m a dot; you’re a dot; we’re just dots”, offers little in the way of clues about the band, but much in terms of musical muscle and another example of their stunning ability to conjure up dazzling melodies. This then glides into “Superfluous” – another solid track that is bound to get your head nodding and foot tapping.
“Shine Like The Sun” really stands out to me, it has a change in the stylistic themes that comes rather unexpected, with peaceful harmonic vocals, and a relaxing riff that is repeated throughout.
Next up is “By the Book” – which is exactly what Nearly Skulls have done here. A number of dynamic and tempo changes really hooks you in early on, wondering what might come next. This is followed by the humbling “Magic and Joy” – a shorter song that sets up a promising stage to finish the album with “Be Better”
“Be Better” shines with optimism and hope – something that we could all do with in times like these. It tells a short story of being knocked down time and time again, but having the ability to keep on fighting.
Overall, this is an album with several ingenious songs that I would love to see live – with echoes of U2 and The Who throughout, which I cannot seem to get enough of.
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