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Crystal Skulls - Outgoing Behavior

Released on Suicide Squeeze, 4/11/06

Scarcely 12 months after the Crystal Skulls released their debut album, Blocked Numbers, the Skulls have returned with their second album, Outgoing Behavior. The Crystal Skulls' latest is an eclectic mélange of upbeat melodies, melancholy lyrics, and psychedelic influences. Frontman Christian Wargo and his fellow Skulls weave a distinctive sound in Outgoing Behavior that works well, for the most part.

The Crystal Skulls gift for upbeat melodies and melancholy lyrics becomes apparent quickly with the solid track, “Baby Boy” in which a baggage toting, estranged young man is implored to lay down his grudges and reconcile with his family. This fairly somber material is married with a melody that is much more conducive to idle head bobbing than sobbing.

In a different vein, the percussively charged, sexed up “The Hold Up” is more of a funkified dance track that includes a wonderful guitar duel. Complementing the heated melody is Wargo’s sultry crooning about the sexy dancing of the object of his affections. Best listened to with the lights slightly dimmed, a paramour, and a buzz slightly pronounced, “The Hold Up” is decidedly not melancholy.

The bittersweet “Hey, It’s Easy” brings you back to reality with somber musings on the ever accelerating decline and demise of a romantic relationship. The bitter guitar and piano chords contribute to a tune well suited for drowning romantic sorrows. Fortunately, “Hey, It’s Easy” doesn’t follow the more optimistically passionate “The Hold Up”.

“The Cosmic Door” sheds light on the dreamier, psychedelic side of The Crystal Skulls. It’s less the melody that provides this and more the lyrics that weave a story of an enigmatic siren that draws the hero in and mysteriously disappears before he can even get her name. Alas, a conundrum many a bachelor has faced.

Outgoing Behavior is a pretty solid sophomore effort. While the Crystal Skulls show they have the ability to mix somber lyrics and buoyant melodies to create some solidly catchy tracks, many of the tracks sound very similar. This isn’t the worst thing in the world as most of the tracks are pretty polished and there’s much more of Outgoing Behavior that works than doesn’t.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars