After finding themselves sacked by Capitol Records (despite receiving a Grammy nomination for the artwork of Fantastic Spikes Through Balloons), New York’s premier junk-rock band, Skeleton Key, has found solace on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label.
The band has emerged from a five-year hiatus, rummaging through their warped workshop of noise to turn out Obtainium, a coherent mess of experimental sound.
Melding heavy-funk bass with discordant guitars and a barrage of clanks and whirrs sputtering from an artillery of non-conventional instruments, Skeleton Key plays the mutated melodies of a dysfunctional music box.
Although the album’s opener is reminiscent of any MTV-darling rock band currently corrupting the airwaves, track two drives the remainder of Obtainium with the force and fury of a freight train (literally, with the sounds of steam and cranks).
Moments of Einsturzende Neubaten industrial clamor throughout the album, but Obtainium’s haunting vocals, which are blended with off-kilter rhythmery and twisted pop hooks, create a sound all to its own.
– Amber Blankenbiller