Skindraft's compilation of previous and new demos oddly titled Demos is a very telling slice of a young, new band finding their way in the world. Hailing from Ireland, these four lads have shown growth since the release of their first demo in 2004. Two and a half years later, they still wear their influences on their sleeve as evidenced on tracks like "Discern" and "Memory." This is in no small part due to the guitar/bass intros, reminiscent of Silverchair, a band that was my first reminder of how old and bitter I'd become as these young whippersnappers managed to put out some decent songs despite being fifteen years my junior.
I hold no such ill will towards Skindraft. These guys are working hard to rock your cocks off and let me tell you, my cock did indeed fall off before my listen was through. The majority of these songs are better than Silverchair's entire catalog. The vocals remind me of the way Dave Grohl sings live or the way he used his voice on the Pocketwatch demos before all the filters he's so partial to using in the studio, his frame of vocal reference at the time being Kurt Cobain - another key influence evidenced in Skindraft's music. There are other songs that will remind you of other notable artists but you can't hold that against the band. It takes a while for a young group to find their voice.
The songs included here show a band not afraid of progression. The first-time listener needs to appreciate that Skindraft are trying to establish a big rock presence with limited production value and while the sound quality is actually quite good for analog demos, there's no question that they could benefit greatly from some studio time. I'd like to nominate Brendan O'Brien for production duties. After all he did for the Stone Temple Pilots' music, he could take an already great track like "When They Falter" and turn it into a monster epic. Skindraft already have the talent and the potential. Now all they need is the backing from a label smart enough to sign them.