One Of Us is the style pushing new album by Luis Alberto Dubuc Jr, the man behind the moniker Mystery Skulls. The album is as eclectic as his origin story and influences. Born in Venezuela, Dubuc then moved to Toronto where he grew up, learning English by watching Sc-Fi and Horror films. Later he relocated to Texas where he got involved in a number of music projects, among them playing drums for the metalcore band Thirty Called Arson. Mystery Skull is now based in L.A. and One Of Us is his second studio album.
For the most part, I found the album difficult to ingest, the more accessible tracks being Follow You which has neo disco vibe, and Music, which has a strong Daft Funk influence, I would even say it’s derivative. Mystery Skulls chooses to derail the course of a good song flow to include a somewhat unrelated style of music for no apparent reason. Perhaps it all ties into the album theme of dystopia- we live in a world where ‘big brother’ is watching us all the time and we constantly have a lens in our face. Perhaps the music is purposely disruptive to represent this? For example, the track Erase Me begins with a misplaced triumphant cinematic score, then moves into the simpler instrumentation of electronic piano and vocals, later introducing electronica moving into a dance style. The palette of sound Mystery Skulls chooses to work from also seems to be of the abrasive synth variety; the use of continuous ascending 8 bit arpeggios in the track One Of Us is immediately irritating. Losing My Mind is well represented by its glitchy mind clenching sound, which delivers on its promise to make you lose your mind, indeed. The redeeming factor an many of the songs is his vocals and the tight knitted production.
Unfortunately, I’m not one for One Of Us, and if its purpose is solely a social commentary on our dystopian existence, I’m not convinced that the message is communicated in the most coherent way.