The Skull Defekts, a hard-edged band from Sweden, rocked the Hideout Thursday night (March 31), with some key assistance from Daniel Higgs, a veteran vocalist better known for his work with the band Lungfish. Higgs sings on the new Skull Defekts album, Peer Amid, which came out in February on Thrill Jockey. He looks and sounds like a full-fledged member of the band — a frontman, in fact. With his gray beard, Higgs resembled an Old Testament character or a crew member of an old whaling vessel as he commanded the stage Thursday with his unrestrained vocals. The rest of Skull Defekts — two drummers and two guitarists — never let up with their jagged punk-garage riffs. At one point, Higgs asked the audience, “Do any of you have skull defects?” When someone replied, “Yes,” a member of the band said, “Excellent.” (I’m paraphrasing from memory here.)
The evening started out with a couple of other Thrill Jockey bands, playing drone music — an interesting contrast to the Skull Defekts. Mountains created a beautiful, shimmering wall of sound. Zomes’ simple chords on a dinky ’80s-era keyboard seemed too simple, however.