Skegss – ‘My Own Mess’

By Andy Joice

It’s been a big year for Australian three-piece Skegss. A huge tour of the homeland earlier this year, the release of two well regarded singles as well as the release of their highly anticipated debut album, with a world tour (well, Australia and Europe) to come.

Following on from their acclaimed Holiday Food EP released early 2017, the Byron Bay boys have managed to maintain the carefree, surf rock sound that’s keeping them as one of Australia’s hotly tipped bands. There’s that old expression ‘write what you know’, and it seems the band have channeled all the warmth, sand and sun into their music. It’s difficult to imagine that sound coming from Hartlepool, that’s for sure.

Opening with single ‘Up In The Clouds’, guitarist and vocalist Ben Reed gently explains how he “might not ever work things out” before the track erupts thanks to Jonny Lani’s driving drum beat. An angsty yet uplifting piece, it’s a song about accepting the uncertainty in life, and how everything will eventually be OK in the end. It sets the scene for the rest of the record; subtle lyrics over deliciously laid back beats.

While the album opener and ‘Infinity’, handle the angst of the unknown, second single ‘Smogged Out’ deals with waking up in a city after a night on the sauce. Effortlessly fun with trademark snark throughout, the chorus culminates with the line “I just wanna go cause I fuckin’ hate it here”.

Up-tempo earworms seem to be a staple of the album. With contagiously catchy choruses in ‘Margarita’ and album titler ‘My Own Mess’, it really is a case of picking your favourite singalong. And while it may seem that Skegss can only perform at 100 miles an hour, ‘Road Trip’ and ‘Midnight Eyes’ prove that, when necessary, they’re able to slow things down to create tender moments of respite.

The record closes with ‘My Mind’, an anthem that opens with a choir of voices – perfect for crowd participation – before pounding into one of the catchiest choruses. Closing with a song that leaves the listener wanting more is a genius move, ensuring the record gets a repeat listen.

While there may not be any searing riffs, there’s delicate melodies throughout the record, accompanied by Toby Cregan’s Pixies-esque bass lines that hold the tracks together. There’s a synergy that emanates from the band, all working seamlessly to culminate in a polished sound. Some bands struggle to translate the engaging, energetic joy of live shows, yet Skegss maintain that passion and energy from start to finish. It’s an infectious listen that can’t help but leave a grin on your face.

ANDY JOICE

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