Being too ambitious with your sound can be dangerous for a post-punk band. Personal flare is essential but the groundwork laid by Joy Division, Sonic Youth and the like is particularly solid. Toronto’s Casper Skulls knows this well and they showcase that knowledge expertly. Just one listen to the King of Gold 7-inch will suck you in to the steady and constant pulse of one of Toronto’s most promising bands.
If you’re lucky enough to catch one of their live shows you will be further enamoured with the simplicity, consistency and drive of their rhythm section, drummer Chris Anthony and bassist Fraser McClean. McClean serves as the energetic center of the band in contrast to the intense focus of front-people and guitarists Neil Bendis and Melanie Gail St-Pierre. Both Bendis and St. Pierre have a brooding quality on stage, a precision necessary to pull off that post-punk darkness. Their voices work and weave perfectly together and while Bendis takes the lead on both songs on King of Gold, St-Pierre’s songs are of equal clout.