Luis Dubuc is a singer/songwriter whose primary claim to fame is the electronic band, The Secret Handshake. He released four albums under that name, and achieved some well-deserved praise. Unfortunately, his last album strayed too far from his expected genre, and into Motown. While not a failure, the album “Night and Day” did not get the reception he anticipated, and he announced in late 2011 that he had moved on from The Secret Handshake. His next project was named Mystery Skulls, and in December, they released a five song EP online.
Like The Secret Handshake, Mystery Skulls is cross between EDM and pop, and when it’s good, it’s good. It’s bass heavy at points, but can still be intriguing and although the lyrics are nothing special, the high tone they’re sung in is a good compliment to the static-laced beats. The backing can be repetitious, but it’s changed up often enough that the early songs are still very enjoyable. One song may have snare kicks, another focusing on pulsating music, but they’re so different that it’s not an issue.
The only problem with the music is that after the opening songs, and especially after repeated listens, it comes across as very uninspired. There’s never huge variation in vocals, and more often the vocals blend and are reduced to overused filler lines, like you’d expect out of Michael Jackson. In “Beautiful” and “Brainsick”, there’s no interesting musical component to balance out the mindless lyrics, and it hurts the composition badly. Beyond the predictable drops, there’s nothing more to these two songs than their whiny chorus.
Were this a full album with only 3 notable songs, it could easily be skipped, but for a five song EP, that’s much more acceptable. For anyone who enjoys this style of music, it shouldn’t be passed up.
For fans of: Daft Punk, Analog Rebellion and Le Knight Club