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Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews


This album is like everything I like about any indie rock band, distilled into two-minute songs. Noisy but controlled. This album is more poppy and melodic than their previous albums. The rythms are complex and quirky, sometimes like vampire weekend or animal collective. The vocals are sung loudly but mixed quietly, so there's always a far-away-landscape feel to it. The songs are very richly written; you might think of them as an artsy hipster experiment band, but their songs always convey strong emotions of many types. All of the songs are my favorite.

Feindish Genius

If ever a band could make music that sounded like West African punk rock, it's Abe Vigoda. The musical concept presented on Skeleton seems to have become more coherent since Kid City, resulting in a uniquely relentless onslaught of percussion and melody. As creative as Skeleton is, I believe Abe Vigoda will be smart enough to avoid wearing out this sound. Their creative genius must necessarily drive them in new diections; five albums of this would be too much.


Genre: Alternative

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 after...
Full Bio
Skeleton, Abe Vigoda
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Customer Ratings