Skinny Lister are one of those good-time live bands, all punky folk catchiness and entertainment; we saw them live at Rode Hall’s Just So and they’ve recorded at Newcastle-under-Lyme, although they’re not local.
It’s three tracks in before Skinny Lister hit the sound we were expecting, the first three songs all showing a new pop awareness.
Opener Second Amendment is rock/ska that reminded us of Dead 60s from a few years back, along with a chorus that sounds like the Jam’s Eton Rifles, while My Life My Architecture is a more rollicking number. We’re not sure what that’s about — the opener is about guns — but song three is a mournful tune about an evil of modern life, putting diesel in a petrol engine: “I’m in a world of pain” laments the singer, “stuck on the hard shoulder for the unforeseeable” with the rescue man reassuring: “It’s an easy mistake to make, mate”.
After this minor diversion from type, Rattle and Roar is the sound we expected and similar to an old song, Beat it From The Chest, with the intro vocals/stomping and the song a roaring sing-along.
Artist Arsonist is more of the same, a bit Dexy’s Midnight Runners for the call and respond harmonies; 38 Minutes is a bit Springsteen.
It’s not all for dancing: Sometimes So It Goes is a gentle acoustic folk tune while The Shining is slicker pop and a little Blondie.
The band says the album is “a loosely-based concept album”, a series of vignettes “inspired by a chaotic few years”. As well as filling up the van with diesel and wanting to bear arms, the songs cover a variety of topics. Folkster Beans On Toast — aka Jay McAllister — sang about Skinny Lister’s Lorna Thomas on his last album, and Skinny Lister include a song called Alister McAllister. Hmm.
The closer is Any Resemblance To Actual Persons, Living Or Dead, Is Purely Coincidental (a message for lawyers: they never put real people into songs, oh no) so who knows?
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