Skaters take street punk and give it the full 180° treatment with a little influence from 80’s alternative rock.

The Skaters story is a quick one. The NYC quartet formed in early 2012, by March of 2013, they had released their first EP, Schemers, and were packing the van for SXSW. One year later they returned the Austin on the heals of a Warner Brothers deal and a new album titled Manhattan. Skaters are a straight up indie rock powerhouse band that incorporates a heavy dose of melody. They rely on a strong and steady downbeat, driving guitars and the snarly vocals of Michael Cummings. Not unlike the approach many post-Strokes bands have taken over the past few years.

My first thought was to compare Skaters to The Clash. There is an initial strum that opens Manhattan reminiscent of a sped up “London Calling” intro. This, however, is where the comparisons end, at least until later on in the album. Manhattan is chock full of catchy tunes and layered guitars. The second and third tracks “Miss Teen Massachusetts” and “Deadbolt” respectively are pure sing-alongs. Try getting those out of your head after a few listens. “Band Breaker” and “Fear of the Knife” bring back hints of The Clash. Not so much a direct comparison, but in the fact that the band is tapping their dub/reggae influences and it works, just as it did for the Clash.

Manhattan by Skaters is a solid win that sounds both fresh and familiar from the get-go, perhaps a result of their self-proclaimed 80’s influences. The songs are solid and have just enough change-ups to keep you guessing without sounding disjointed. This is most evident on the transition from “Nice Hat” a pure punk grinder, to the albums closer “This Much I Care” a synth laced, guitar driven tune.

Having graduated quickly from the streets to the half-pipe, I just hope Skaters are wearing a helmet, because their future looks gnarly.

4 Sheep

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.