Eat Skull disappeared a couple years ago—I remember a farewell show back in June 2010 at Holocene, before the band left town for California. But now they're back, and in town, having played a few shows around Portland in the past few months. They recently released the aptly named "Where'd You Go" 7-inch on Volar Records (you can listen to the A-side here), but now they have a full-length album due on February 19 on the Woodsist label.

The album's titled III, and that's the cover art above, and the preview track, "How Do I Know When to Say Goodnight?" indicates a shift in direction to more swirly, lighthearted sound via vocal loops, drumbox beats, and extensive synths. Still, the song is still buried under a strata of weirdness in the form of vocal effects and a train-clatter rhythm. The record was made "on a fever train between states, cities, community colleges and jails," and at their recent show opening for Woods, Eat Skull frontman Rob Enbom cracked a joke about "Eat Skull couldn't be here, they're in Hooper"—presumably referring to the rehab clinic—"We're called M.W.A." Later on he clarified that M.W.A. stood for "More White Art." At that show, I seem to remember Eat Skull playing sort of old, low, lonesome, howling blues, in spirit if not technique. Either way, it didn't sound anything like this new song.

EAT SKULL - How Do I Know When To Say Goodnight? by WOODSIST