Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: Skirts - S/T

I never liked playing 'Follow The Leader'. I've always been a pretty independent person, so following someones every move didn't really connect with me as an idea for fun. But I feel like some artists use the general idea of this childrens game when they make music, copying the sound of band almost to the note. I know fads come and go, and I at least will swim in those waters a bit before I sink in them, but usually, I get frustrated with all the similarities. Thankfully, Skirts didn't make me that frustrated.

Skirts doesn't sound new to me, and that may be one of the only problems I have with the album. Within the vast jungle of surf-themed indie bands, it's hard to differentiate many of them from each other. I know that goes for most genres, but it's a gripe I have because I feel it's important to differentiate yourself from the other acts that sound similar to you. Following a crowd isn't necessarily a bad thing, but neither is individualism.

"Come With Me" and "Boots" are the best examples of their surf-themed material. They sound as beach worthy as you would expect, and as representations of the genre, they're both fine songs. Maybe I would enjoy them a bit more if I hadn't heard a thousand songs similar to them, but that's, again, just a gripe of mine. It's a fun style of music to play, so why not try it, right?

"Glow" puts a little punk-vibe into this album. It's a great track, and still maintains it's surf roots, but displays an energy I wish the band tried a little more in their work. "Library", the track I took the most away from on the album, sounds like a mixture between The Pixies and Polaris (Otherwise known as they guys who made the Pete And Pete theme song). It reminded me of the late eighties (Or at least what I've been presented of it in my life), an era that seems littered with great acts many of us forget. Whether Skirts intentionally made this song nostalgic or not, it oozes with a sense of cool I haven't heard in a while, and that's a great feeling to have.

Other tracks like "Formal" and "Study Break" feel incomplete, but still enjoyable. It seems like the band tries to get their product out there as soon as they can, more worried about it being out there then it being fine-tuned. I've been there a million times before, so not only can I sympathize with them, I can nearly forget about it completely. "Mootanning" sounds more like a rock ballad than a band obviously influenced by The Beach Boys, which, at least, changed the similar direction of the album a bit. It's totally out of place on the album, but, gotta give them points for trying.

Skirts is fairly straightforward, and I appreciated that. Nothing here is overly fancy, and I know that may scare some people away, but simplicity has its merits. That doesn't mean the same simplicity is complacent in it's similarities with other bands, it just means it knows it similarities and tweaks them enough to make them different. - Shane

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