Review: Southampton's own bones brigade, Band Of Skulls, return with an epic fifth studio album, delivering a sweet selection of alternative pop rock versatility. The album opens with a salvo of heavier, more motley rock sounds before hitting its catchy title track halfway through the A-side. "Not The Kind Of Nothing" and "Cool Your Battles" turns out the A-side from anything too soft, with the band serving up a cooing, more contemplative and ethereal number in "Sound of You" that opens the second disc. The slightest of country and folk inspirations waver in and out of "We're Alive", with the emotional wall of sound that is "Speed Of Light" a true highlight, alongside the jamming post-punk hit: "Gold". Like James Murphy dressed up as Nikki Sixx.
Review: You pretty much know what to expect from Tacocat at this point - no nonsense indie-punk stylings and humorous, direct lyrical narratives, as well as their uplifting take on post punk, with clear inspiration from bands such as The Pretenders and Blondie. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the new wave, synth-driven stylings of album highlight "Grains Of Salt", the power pop of "The Joke Of Life" and "Rose-Colored Sky", concluding with some respite in "Miles & Miles". The socially conscious lyrics in places will no doubt provide some optimism, too. This Mess Is A Place is a triumphant album that will provide sing-a-longs and fun in great helpings.