With the success of bands like Health and No Age, the pressure was really on for fellow Los Angeles noise punks Abe Vigoda to carry the torch lit at the Smell. On Skeleton, their third album overall and first for Dean Spunt's (No Age) PPM label, the band steps it up accordingly, and offers listeners a compelling cross section of what's currently happening in the indie underground. They share No Age's penchant for noisy dissonance (as heard on the instrumental "Whatever Forever" and "Visi Rings") and Health's clattering, frenetic drumming style, but on the majority of the record, Abe Vigoda's newfound interest in tropical and world music takes the forefront, their reverbed guitars even going so far as to mimic the sound of steel drums. The vocals find a common ground between the chants of Liars ("The Garden") and the harmonies of bands like Animal Collective ("Animal Ghosts") and Dirty Projectors ("Lantern Lights"), and the quartet shares the experimental and playful spirit of those groups — as well as Brooklyn's High Places, whose faux steel drum pings Abe Vigoda's recall. But while the individual sounds on the album might be traceable to their contemporaries, Abe Vigoda manage to combine them to make a tribal-tropical art-punk sound that is wholly their own. Skeleton is one of the more interesting releases of the summer, and proves that Abe Vigoda are more than worthy of joining their peers in the spotlight.
Not to be confused with the actor of the same name (most notably from The Godfather and Late Night with Conan O'Brien), Los Angeles' Abe Vigoda represent an exciting crop of young and arty punk bands emerging from local all-ages venue the Smell that also includes bands like Mika Miko, Silver Daggers, the Mae Shi, and No Age. The band — consisting of Juan Velazquez (guitar/vocals), Michael Vidal (guitar/vocals), David Reichardt (bass), and Reggie Guerrero (drums) — formed in Chino in 2003... Full bio