With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

‘What You Are’ – Skylights May 5, 2022

The anticipation for the debut Skylights has been huge for a long while now. The band has slogged their way onwards and upwards to the point where they are selling out shows as far afield as Scotland and Ireland. They are clearly outperforming their beloved Leeds United too. As Leeds head for the Championship Skylights are heading to the top of the Premier League! Will this album cement them in the classic UK rock mantle? I think it might. The record kicks off with “Outlaw”, a mighty powerful statement indeed and in my opinion their finest single so far. What better way to kick off an album than with an absolute banger. It features Turnbull’s finest riffs to date and Rob’s vocal oozes a heady passion. “Nothing Left To Say” drops the intensity very, very slightly, but the sweeping chorus and haunting backing vocals from Jonny more than compensate. The guitar screams like a banshee on heat and Jonny’s bass would register on the Richter scale. “What You Are” makes it three anthems in a row. Then comes “Britannia” which doesn’t let up, Myles’ drumming is reminiscent of early Public Image Limited and drives the tunes, ultimately positive and hopeful, lyrics.

The acoustic take on “Darkness Falls” brings the power level down a little and is a truly sublime ballad. The string arrangements are classy and enhance the already great track. This is the band’s most complete and beautiful lyrics in my opinion. Rob’s voice has a yearning, soulful feel to it and you really do believe he is sorry as the words say. If you like post-punk “Enemies” has that kind of feel and once again features a riff-fest with the might of a neutron bomb. Just over halfway through the tune has a stupendous psychedelic feel and the chorus won’t let you go. “Breaking outta school cos we were high, Kicking down doors just a you and I, Enemies they’ve got to know, Dream those dreams don’t let ’em go” These lads have never let their dreams go and this album proves it. Next is perhaps the one Skylights track that everyone is surely familiar with, “YRA”. It is always a true highlight of their live set and it shows how far the band has grown when you consider that this great tune is not even close to being the best on the album.

“Lifeline” opens with the couplet, “I’m in the mood, I’m in the mood for grooving” and this is the Skylights track that is crying out for a warped dance mix, someone like the Chemical Brothers would blow this one out of the sky. It is already a force 10 funk gale with titanic tornado riffs. The whole band are on fire with “Take Me Somewhere” which is reminiscent of Green Day’s “When September Ends”, albeit a little faster. The album closes with “Driving Me Away” which has a Beatlesesque feel in the production and orchestration and shows just how versatile this band can be. Some versions of the release will include a commentary from Rob and Turnbull on all the tracks and they add a nice curio to the whole thing, although I think only Skylights fanatics will listen to them regularly. The album is an absolutely superb debut and without doubt a contender for album of the year! The vinyl and CD version of the album is out on 6th May and the digital release follows a week later. “Driving Me Away” will be the band’s next single and that comes out on 6th May. All on the rather splendid 42’s Records.

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Skylights – Promo CD – September 2018 September 8, 2018

I was lucky enough to be on the mailing list for an excellent 7 track promo CD from the talented Skylights from York. I am very familiar with two of the tracks; “What You Are” and “YRA” which I have previously reviewed for this blog. Both of these are now accompanied by a couple of excellent videos (see below) and are almost instant anthems. On the basis of those two tracks alone it is clear that this is a tight band with a potentially bright future. “Nothing Left To Say” has the same anthemic qualities as the previously mentioned tunes and will be released with an accompanying video next month. They definitely have a DNA link to the better parts of so-called BritPop. Most notably here in “Take Me Somewhere” in which I can hear the melodies of Cast and Dodgy with perhaps the delivery of Oasis at their prime. On top of that the riff here has a late 70s power pop like quality at times.

The CD also showcases three demo recordings. “Britannia” is an epic melodic, fuzzed up banger that has influence from the Verve and especially the Stone Roses. meanwhile “Driving Me Away” does not do what it says on the tin, it drives you towards this rather excellent and very talented band. They show their softer side on the yearning hook-laden “Darkness Falls”. Rob and Jonny Scarisbrick on soaring vocals and pounding bass respectively are aided and abetted by supreme sticksman Myles Soley and axeman extraordinaire Turnbull Smith in a quest for greater success for Skylights. Can they do it? Well on this evidence I reckon they can. In fact with another three or four songs of the quality and calibre of those on the promo means there could be a brilliant début album on the cards.



“What You Are” – Skylights August 18, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:41 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Following hot on the heels of the excellent “YRA 2018”, which I reviewed back in April, Skylights are back with the towering sonic powerhouse that is “What You Are”. I bloody loved “YRA 2018”, in fact I still do, but with “What You Are” they have topped it. They mine a rich seam from British rock history; Beatles, Stones, Small Faces, the Clash, Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene among others. But while they have influences they take things to a whole new original level. This lot has the potential to become a great band so get on board now before they hit the heights, you will not be disappointed!

The York music scene is incredibly strong right now and it is great to have Skylights as a part of that scene. They are headlining at the Crescent in York tonight and if what they have released so far is a good gauge then it will be a stunning set. If you haven’t heard any of their stuff yet then click here for their SoundCloud page and prepare to be blown away! Skylights, what you are is a fucking awesome band! No pressure lads!


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