Review
Skindraft
Demos

Independent (2007) Kevin Fitzpatrick

Skindraft – Demos cover artwork
Skindraft – Demos — Independent, 2007

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.

Skindraft – Demos cover artwork
Skindraft – Demos — Independent, 2007

Recently-posted album reviews

Travoltas

Back To The City
White Russian Records (2021)

Somehow it seems to me that Travoltas released Until We Hit The Shore only last year or perhaps the year before. But nooooo, it’s been four years already. That record is still on heavy rotation here, especially when the weather is sunny and the temperature is high (but not too hot). So I was so happy to hear a new EP by … Read more

Bootlicker

Self-Titled
Neon Waste, Static Shock Records (2021)

Rough and tough d-beat, oi-influenced punk with a boot on the cover. If you follow the scene you probably already have a sense of what Bootlicker sounds like based on that alone. Released on Neon Waste (USA/Canada) and Static Shock (UK), this is Discharge-influenced punk that pulls no punches. It’s angry, shouty, and aggressive as all get-out with memorable lyrics … Read more

Stella Research Committee

A Proposed Method for Determining Sanding Fitness
Independent (2021)

Labels like Amphetamine Reptile and Skin Graft Records and the “now wave” and noise rock avalanche they launched has served as an immense source of inspiration for a myriad of bands. Listening to Stella Research Committee’s fifth LP, they do not only seem to be overly familiar with the output of the aforementioned label rosters, but have channelled those influences … Read more