Obtainium

Although it was a long time coming, New York noise-pop combo Skeleton Key follows its lauded 1997 Capitol album Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon (and an even better Motel debut EP from '96) with the i

Although it was a long time coming, New York noise-pop combo Skeleton Key follows its lauded 1997 Capitol album Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon (and an even better Motel debut EP from '96) with the irresistible Obtainium for Mike Patton's Ipecac label. There have been personnel changes in the meantime, but the new set brims with more of the barbed hooks and off-kilter rhythms that built the band a buzz among the rock press and college radio (Music to My Ears, Billboard, March 1, 1997). Founding singer/bassist Erik Sanko has never sounded better than when he keens like a hopped-up carnival barker on the guitar-charged standout "One Way, My Way" or when he intones sotto voce over the industrial tone poetry of "Candy." Some of the whimsical lyrical puns sell the musical invention short, as with "Roost in Peace"; overall, though, the disc fascinates with its air of obsolescent machines coming alive to bump and grind in a Lower East Side antique shop.—BB
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