Third time around, blues rockers Band Of Skulls finally give us what we want.
And what we want is balls. In these very pages two years ago, we lamented the Southampton trio's apparent unwillingness to really let go; second album Sweet Sour was too clean, its tasteful production clipping its wings, and the band teetered when they were supposed to be flying.
No such problem with Himalayan, which hares out of the blocks with a three-song rush. From the dirty glam stomp of opener Asleep At The Wheel – Russell Marsden curling his lip like a brand new Marc Bolan – to the groovier clipped riffs of the title track and the Deep Purple gallop of Hoochie Coochie, this is an opening salvo that's sexy, confident and (crucially) heavy. Just what Band Of Skulls are meant to be.
Things get a little less exciting after that, though. They don't lapse into polite old ways, but I Guess I Know You Very Well is a discount White Stripes and Yaatian feels like a pale imitation of already pretty translucent Brummie psychedelicists Peace.
Still, in the tough-pop appeal of Be Mine and Brothers And Sisters, not to mention that triple opening burst, there's enough to suggest Band Of Skulls are at last heading in the right direction.