Mystery Skulls is an American indie electronic rock band formed in 2011 by Luis Dubuc. Dubuc first publically announced the existence of the project through Tumblr in August of 2011, just before announcing the end of his former band, The Secret Handshake in September the same year. In 2013, the band signed on with Warner Bros. Records.
For a time, their only commercial releases Mystery Skulls had was their self-titled EP and singles for Ghost and Paralyzed, but they still gained a massive amount of popularity through sites such as YouTube and Bandcamp. Their first full album, Forever, was released in 2014, which gained them even more popularity. The project has released their sophomore album, One of Us, on August 4, 2017. In April 19, 2019; their third album, Back to Life, was released.
Note: Since there are now two official music videos for Ghost (one live-action and a Flash-animated one by Big Name Fan MysteryBen), for the sake of reference between the two and from the actual song itself, the live action video will be called Live!Ghost, while the animated video will be called Animated!Ghost. If you're looking for tropes pertaining specifically to the latter, they can be found at Mystery Skulls Animated.
This band and their music provide examples of:
- Badass Boast: Unstoppable is this, in a nutshell. The main character is surrounded by a group of guys that want to fight him, but they don't know that he's unstoooooppable, yeah...
You can't do this like I do it,
- In My Sleep is an example from one musician to another.
I fuckin' wrote this in my sleep,
- Badass Preacher: Averted at the end of Live!Ghost.
- Big Name Fan: Invoked. MysteryBen, a flash animator, who created Turntable Turnabout, an unofficial music video for Money. It got so popular that Mystery Skulls actually asked him to make an official animated music video for Ghost. And he did, and it is awesome.
- Demonic Possession: Both Ghost music videos had cases of this.
- Downer Ending: In Live!Ghost, the girl is still possessed and may be attacking her parents.
- Electronic Music: Though he's very varied, his main influence lies in electronic music.
- Genre Throwback: Magic is a delicious disco throwback that has elements of 70's music thanks to Nile Rodgers' guitar playing and R&B singer Brandy's vocals.
- I Am the Band: Luis is the only official member of the band, and Brandy and Nile are only collaborators/live members.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Live!Ghost is a parody of The Exorcist, where the priest, among other things, mimes using a fishing pole to bring a crucifix toward himself. The lyrics to the song, however, are much more somber compared to their other songs, like Money and Unstoppable.
- Animated!Ghost, on the other hand, despite the seemingly wacky Scooby-Doo parody overtones, quickly becomes more and more suited to the lyrics, especially since it represents one of the main characters, who even practically speaks one of the lines.
- Madness Mantra: This May Be The Year is absolutely haunting, and the lyrics consist entirely of Dubuc repeating the same line.This may be the year that I disappear.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: A pretty solid 3, with a few songs (e.i. "Paralyzed") crossing level 4.
- Though, his original EP was around a 4 due to being a tad poorly produced.
- Neo Classical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Funk, Rock, Indie, Electronica, and Soul to be precise.
- Precision F-Strike: In My Sleep as noted above under Badass Boast. And from Ghost:Time for givin' up the ghost
Fuck, it's you I hate the most
- Shout-Out: Live!Ghost, again, is a love letter to The Exorcist. Or maybe Scary Movie's take on it. Meanwhile, Animated!Ghost starts as a big ol' homage to Scooby-Doo (paranormal investigators with dog mascot, driving around in a big van). Of course, things get a bit more serious as things go on.