Skeleton Man – Coyote Kid

Are you ready to descend into a world of horror, romance, and trumpet? Skeleton Man is a rock opera about the macabre, named after an anthropomorphization of death and focused on the horrifying creations of a new science. It is very influenced by mariachi music, focusing on the i, VIb, and V chords hard- the beautiful waltz anthem “Electric Lover” specifically reminds me of the Malagueña. The album starts with some hard and fast rock tracks with complex grooves; the standout here is “Femme Fatale”, with Austin Wilder on drums breaking up the beat perfectly (as he does throughout the album) and that exciting chorus melody. Of course, excellent and interesting vocal melodies abound on this album, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better lead voice for them than Austin Durry, whose controlled growl always adds a layer of emotion. Secondary vocalist and bassist Cassandra Valentine’s parts also ooze with character— if I had to point to one favorite, it’d be that delightfully funky bass in the verses of “Strange Days”. Another standout on the album is the genuinely funny ska track “Destroyer of Worlds”, full of licks that give way to an intensely powerful orchestral finale when the narrator gets down to business. “Backbone” is an absolutely incredible song and may be my personal favorite on the album; even if you somehow don’t like the other songs on the album, I urge you to check out the speedy major riffing of that song, a serious rival to “Check Yes Juliet”. “Skeleton Man”, the finale of the album, is a phenomenal waltz that combines the worship of death with engrossing vocal harmonies— a truly satisfying ending to an album I could delve into again and again.

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