PUNK from Indiana
FFO: CCTV, LIQUIDS, CONEHEADS, DEVO
Our take: Latest EP from these Indiana punks who have dropped a healthy grip of 7” vinyl over the past two years. Skull Cult is of a piece with bands like Coneheads, Liquids, and Erik Nervous but I wouldn’t write them off as also-rans. New Mutilator begins with my favorite track, “Braindead,” which feels like an epic even though it falls well short of two minutes long. Over its 105 seconds, you get a noisy intro, a big, melodic chorus, a post-chorus interlude of Dickies-esque organ, and a blistering James Williamson-style guitar lead, all filtered through hissy shit-fi production. It’s like Skull Cult tried to take every kind of big, climactic moment they could think of and cram it into one song, and the result is an orgy of awesomeness. The next three originals are more restrained, but Skull Cult still packs them with great melodies. The EP ends with a cover of “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads, which I find an odd choice given that Coneheads covered the same song and Skull Cult will probably garner comparisons to Coneheads until the end of time. Their version, however, differs from Coneheads’; while the latter stressed the disaffected, robotic quality of Talking Heads’ original, Skull Cult restores the dirty groove that Talking Heads removed from their music.