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iTunes Review

With its third studio album—simply titled III—the Portland noise-rock band Eat Skull leans less on experimental styles and more on well-crafted (if still lo-fi) tunes that took the band nearly four years to complete. “Space Academy” opens, revealing that the group's scuzzy fidelity is hardly a gimmick. Recording its blown-out guitar distortion, muted drum tones, and the seemingly stream-of-conscious vocal approach of singer Rob Enbom at a state-of-the-art studio would have done these songs an injustice. The rusty patina and static textures in the following “Dead Horses” and throughout III is as much a part of the band’s sound as its vintage department-store amps, pawnshop guitars, and general DIY ethos of creating beauty from junk. Through waves of murky reverb, Enbom musing about “watching dead horses decompose” is somehow more artful than most anything recorded by his contemporaries. Speaking of which, hints of Sun Araw and Ariel Pink swirl in the salvage-yard psychedelia of “How Do I Know When to Say Goodnite?” The moody “Summer Inside” plays like the offspring of Felt and Guided by Voices.


Formed: Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

With a maxed-out and skuzzy lo-fi sound that could qualify them as part of the arbitrarily named "shitgaze" genre -- along with likeminded bands Times New Viking and Psychedelic Horseshit -- Eat Skull incorporated more of a hardcore approach to the noise formula than their contemporaries when they started out in 2006, founded by Rob Enbom (Hospitals, Hole Class, and Hale Zukas) and Rod Meyer (also a member of Hospitals, as well as the '80s hardcore bands Necromancy and Puppet Show). The two paired...
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