Skeleton Key

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Obtainium Review

by Bradley Torreano

Skeleton Key is undoubtedly one of the more unique combos in indie rock. Their junk-driven percussion is the highlight of their sound, providing endlessly bizarre combinations of sounds to drive the music along. The tracks found here bring to mind the Jawbox/Shudder to Think era of Dischord Records, with the tiniest bit of funk thrown in for good measure. They definitely can put together some melodic stuff, and the way the pots-and-pans percussion is utilized can be downright inspiring in some cases ("The Barker of the Dupes" especially). But the performances suffer from a flatness that renders some of the material uninspiring. Despite their attention to clever combinations of music matched to percussion, the music itself lacks feeling and seems forced at times. Still, tracks like "Roost in Peace" can slowly find their way into your brain when given enough attention, and it's hard to discourage anyone from listening to a band this unique. But Skeleton Key's comeback is a mixed bag, inspiring curiosity without necessarily inspiring emotions. Obtanium is not a bad album in any way, but it seems like there is a barrier between the artist and the listener that makes it hard to connect with the songs.

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