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| 12 September 2012 | Reply

By David Vaickus

Back in December of 2011 I came across an unsigned band from Los Angeles California called Skinmask. They were opening a show locally in Chicago for one of my favourite bands The Dreaming. I remember seeing some pictures and descriptions of them and thinking, what the hell is this? Needless to say I had my reservations about them.

When I got to the club all I kept seeing on their TV’s was the word SKINMASK with flames behind it! Up to this point I had not heard a single note from this band but due to the name, their makeup and their constant advertisement on the TV’s I was becoming intrigued.

Seems like they have been marketing themselves well, maybe their music is good too? So next comes the performance. WOW! I was thoroughly impressed!

Very seldom does an unknown opening band pique my interest let alone impress me. The next day I downloaded their EP entitled “EP 1” off iTunes and was even more impressed with this band once I was able to hear the album versions of the songs I had heard live.

Skinmask is a hard band to describe. They are an amalgamation of many different styles yet it fits together in a very marketable and listener friendly package. They are unique enough to define their own sound and style, yet are mainstream enough to easily be heard on the radio.

Their EP 1 features 5 songs:
If Only I Knew
In Love Again
Out of Sight
Skinmask (Day After Day)

All of their songs have a consistent infectious groove which lays down the foundation for the rest of the instruments to perform their duties. The songs are then layered up with dual guitars with contrasting rhythms (reminiscent of Gn’R & Skid Row), tons of vocal harmonies, samples up the wazoo and cool little bass fills throughout the songs.

Two of my favorite tracks are “If Only I Knew” and “Out of Sight.” Very cool instrumentation with great harmonies and hooks as well as that famous infectious groove aforementioned.

What Skinmask really excels in is writing hooks! Every instrument has multiple hooks throughout the songs, whether its the guitar riff, the bass fill, the drum beat, the vocal melody or the background samples, they’re all hooks! Plus there are many subtle nuances that vary within the songs, those nuances are in my opinion what separates a good songwriter from a great songwriter.

Now do yourself a favor and check them out for yourself! They are definitely a hard band to describe, the best way to know what they’re about is to hear them yourself!


Category: CD Reviews

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