With the group already facing one enforced change following the departure of founding member and drummer Matt Hayward, Band Of Skulls have now moved further down a new path for album number five. Opener ‘Carnivorous’ arrives wearing brand new threads, a newly discovered groove wrapped around a funky Knights Of Cydonia-style guitar rhythm. Alongside Russell Marsden’s chanted vocals, it soon collapses into a sea of riffs and haunting electronic echoes from the Middle East.
Though the likes of ‘That’s My Trouble’ and ‘Not The Kind Of Nothing’ hint at the band that exploded onto the scene in a flurry of fuzzy garage guitar riffs, in truth much of ‘Love Is All You Love’ finds most of the rough edges well and truly sanded down. Moving from a competitive writing style to a more collaborative one brings tantalising new moods. The soulful title track finds the Southampton duo in the heart of Black Keys-territory, while a blissful super-chilled air lies over the likes of ‘Sound Of You’.
While ‘We’re Alive’ feels as much of a message to themselves as to the wider world, there is a sense towards the end of the record that this is more of a midway marker from a band not quite decided on their next steps - or one that knows what it wants, but isn’t quite ready to let go of their past. ‘Love Is All You Love’ is an album the band needed to make right now, an essential step in a longer journey.