The Skulls

Therapy for the Shy

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Although they were part of the original 1977 L.A. punk scene (appearing quite frequently at the Masque and other "punk" venues), the Skulls never released an album during their brief but memorable existence. Members and friends have included Marc and Bruce Moreland, Michael Wallace, and other Masque mainstays, but the Skulls have remained largely forgotten. Vocalist Steve "Billy Bones" Fortuna has returned 25 years later with a new Skulls lineup and a new lease on punk rock life. Co-produced by the legendary Earle Mankey (how cool is that?), Therapy for the Shy is certainly a rousing return by Mr. Bones. Performing new versions of old recorded and unrecorded Skulls favorites and new tunes, the Skulls retain enough "old-school" punk cred while sounding new, fresh, and exciting. "Kill Me Kill Me Kill" and "Gold & Ruby Red" are the instant standouts, while their version of the Saints' "Erotic Neurotic" is fun. "Building Models," "Incomplete Suicide," and "On Target" are brain-banging fun. At times, the Skulls do begin to sound like the current crop of punk wannabes who dominated the charts in 2002, but within moments they wise up and are back on track. Listeners can thank the esteemed Dr. Strange label for giving them another chance. Thanks Doc!

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