Check out Skeleton Key's live show, and the first thing you notice are the tightly constructed layers of percussion: the way clattering cans and bells add a quirky dimension to the New York band's aggressive, double-jointed rock songs. Skeleton Key's new Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon has a tough time recapturing that bone-jarring effect, but it's an admirable, restlessly dynamic debut. It's hard to imagine any other band incorporating so many diverse moods and sounds into one 35-minute slab of music: From the roaring, metallic "Vomit Ascot," to the falsetto-enhanced "All The Things I've Lost," to the quirky, percolating "Watch The Fat Man Swing," Fantastic Spikes keeps you listening and moving along with its elastic charms. It may be too eclectic for mass consumption, but that doesn't mean you should pass it up. And if nothing else, the packaging is marvelous.

Advertisement