By Edward Burnett
Australia has been the breeding ground of several great indie bands in recent years with the rapid emergence of Tame Impala and DMA'S just to name a few. Yet there is a new name to add to that list as Skegss, with their unique brand of surf-punk, are taking the indie-rock scene by storm. The band who originally formed in 2013 in Byron Bay consists of Ben Reed on vocals/guitar, Toby Cregan on bass and Jonny Lani on drums.
Following on from their 2018 debut album ‘My Own Mess’ which reached number 2 in the Australian charts, the boys are set to release their sophomore album next week on March 26th. Entitled ‘Rehearsal’, the thirteen song strong musical collection is a fresh blend of upbeat soft indie mixed expertly with with relaxing lyrics which all culminates in a genuinely authentic Australian surf/beach vibe. As there are indeed thirteen songs and this is supposed to be a brief and to the point article, I’m not going to go into detail on every one of them. I have however selected two which I think reflect the overall feel of the album and are real gems in their own right.
The first of the two is the band’s newest single ‘Valhalla’ which has already been released. The song is one of the heavier ones featured on ‘Rehearsal’ with a dominating, fast-paced guitar riff which runs thoroughly the whole song, never stopping to take a breath. This particular adrenaline rush is only enhanced by the introduction of a rapid drum beat which kicks in on the chorus. There is a confident boisterousness that reverberates through lead singer Ben Reed’s voice which demonstrates his vocal versatility from the calmer and more relaxed features on ‘Rehearsal’. The lyric structure is fairly simple on this particular track but that is by no means a negative as it allows for the tune to take centre stage in dictating the song’s feel and thematic direction.
The second song I have selected to analyse is the unreleased (as of yet) ‘Running From Nothing’. This is far calmer than the punky ‘Valhalla’ and carries more weight on the lyrical side of affairs hence why I’ve chosen these two songs to show a contrast that appears on ‘Rehearsal’. The song starts with the familiar message of doubt/self confidence which is a relatable topic for many listeners. This is shown in the opening lyric: “running from nothing so nothing can haunt me”. It is a mature topic to focus on rather than the all too overused themes of love or love loss which feature heavily in modern music. Skegss instead focus on self reflection in how usually the negatives we fear or overthink aren’t usually the real, rational or as bad as we think which causes us to indeed run from nothing. The softer, steady guitar track compliments the song as it allows the message to be fully taken in via the lyrics without the instruments taking full precedence.
Overall, Skegss’ upcoming sequel album ‘Rehearsal’ is a refreshing addition to the modern day indie-rock scene. The Australian outfit have given us a diverse album which genuinely fits as a soundtrack to most scenarios no matter the mood or occasion. This universality is certainly hard to come by in music these days and that alone is cause for praise. The boys many new based down under but if they quality of their music stays at this level, the only direction they’ll be heading is up to the top for sure.
If you would like to find out more about Skegss and keep up to date with the release of 'rehearsal" this week, the links to all their socials can be found via the icons below: