It would be easy for you to label Liverpool band Skellums. If there were ever a band that becomes more endearing with each listen, it is these guys. They tread on various genres from the ‘90’s to today, and at first, I almost dismissed them as a nostalgic act. We come across many bands on Ear to the Ground who are a little too influenced by The Strokes or Nirvana. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised with the substance, clever lyrics, and neo-punk spirit of Skellums. They are definitely influenced by other bands, just like all are, but they are unmistakingly refreshing and confidently pillage their own sound. Call it pop punk if you wish, but it is a fresh take on the genre and brilliantly refreshing. “Pop songs with dignity” is their motto on their website. Their four song EP Clarion Call is a collection of fun, energetic, and surprisingly deep laments and celebrations of the life which surrounds us.
Album opener “We Are One” is a call to connect with others and with ourselves put to classic building guitar and relentless drums. It’s a rallying cry for the lost and confused who wander through existence. This is a perfect pace setter for what the band does on their release. “The Avenue” plays in a similar space that proclaims their gospel of judgment free sound for the “black eyes and tear stained cheeks”. This particular tune reminds me of a pop-infused Frank Turner style song.
“Monsters” is a strong declaration against the monsters in our lives. “The voices in my head don’t talk to me no more and the monsters under my bed have walked out the door,” the band declares. This is an extremely empowering song complete with handclaps and a sampling of what sounds like a Boris Karloff movie. I think everyone can relate to what the band does in this tune.
By far, my favorite song of the four is closer “Growing Old”. In a cry to end the charade and age with dignity, the band rages against a culture that is obsessed with youth set to a bouncy bass line. It is a snarky narrative of rebellion of acting your age. If you don’t enjoy this song, then I question if you have a soul. You can pick up their EP Clarion Call Bandcamp here.
For fans of: clever lyrics, Arctic Monkeys, the pop punk of yesterday, confidant bands who don’t try to impress