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Call Me Lightning

Soft Skeletons

Frenchkiss Records

High drama meets high fucking kicks to your fucking jaw. Mmmmm, yeah, that’s the stuff. That’s the sound n’ fury of Call Me Lightning’s new platter Soft Skeletons. The Milwaukee power trio of Nathan Lilley (vox, guitar keys), Bill Kutsch (bass, vocals, keys) and Shane Hochstetler (drums, percussion) mine a curious mix of the primal and the posed. Combining the blood and thunder primal scream therapy of atavists like the Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid, Pixies and Braniac with the breast-beating, tear-stained sleevery n’ showmanship of a Johnny Ray, a Make-Up, a Fields of the Nephilim, even. The sonics are goddamn impressive: sheer walls of coruscating, trebly guitar, cavernous drums recorded in a echo chamber by a four-track fashioned out of deserted airplane hangers, flick-knife precise bass, lurching keys, last-gang-in-town massed backing vocals and a truly original and outsized cinematic vocalist in Lilly. All sorts of sweet spots are being hit here, ya understand. The atmosphere veers from brittle claustrophobia to wide-eyed hydrophobia, to stylish noir rumblings. The arrangements are goddamn impressive for a young guitar-based band, and the songs are monsters, showing that, yeah, there’s still room for pleasure in the pop song, so I owe someone five bucks. Maybe I’ll just send them a copy of this record instead.

Frenchkiss Records: www.frenchkissrecords.com