New York is a melting pot of different cultures and influences, and the same certainly can be said about Skater’s sophomore record, 'Rock And Roll Bye Bye'. With members from Boston, Los Angeles, and Hull these rockers are just as diverse as the city they now draw on.
Leaving Warner to go indie with their own Yonks Records, Skaters’ second album is experimental in more than one way. The twelve-track album is a mash up of different inspirations and intuitions, with a distinct narrative leading the way through the chaotic release.
Steering away from the grimy psychedelic tint that cling to the tracks of their debut 'Manhattan', 'Rock And Roll Bye Bye' will twist everything you have come to expect from Skaters. Though they’re still pushing through with their energetic post-punk nature, there’s a new melancholic tang and experimental dimension added into the usual mix of rapid-fire guitars.
The shifting landscape of the record has skate punk tracks with staggering guitars like ‘Head On To Nowhere’, being balanced out by mellow anthems of adoration such as ‘Restless Babe’.
The daydream-esque motion that flows through the record parallels with the unlikely constellation of instrumentation and noises Skaters bring on. This is vibrant on surprisingly un-punk ‘I’m Not A Punk’, that contrasts classic piano melodies with grimy guitars. The mixing, matching and mismatching of sounds and little quirks flourishes on ‘Respect The Hustle’. The ode to New York shows the brilliant contrast of the city through the eyes of tourists and dreamers as well as realists, a contrast embedded as strong in the sonics of the song as in the lyrics.
The stern progression on 'Rock And Roll Bye Bye' is reassuring, yet the concoction of different attempts and experiments do not always pay off. It can seem that Skaters at times are trying to do too much all at once, losing the core of their personal touch in the process.
Overcoming the ‘difficult second album’, Skaters have certainly delved into the challenge head-first. The result is both diverse and bold, yet there is an underlying certainty implying a somewhat cohesive quality through the mashup of melodic and rickety tunes.
Words: Aurora Henni Krogh
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