Since breaking out in 2013, Skegss have been on the long path to their debut album. In the time since, the trio from Byron have released a swath of singles and multiple EPs, all growing on the previous release and helping the band evolve into something bigger. 2018 has been no different and Skegss have had it play out to perfection, performing a massive set at Splendour in the Grass, announcing a tour to cap off of the year and as a cherry on top, releasing the band’s debut album, My Own Mess.
Skegss’ lively debut album introduces fifteen tracks, including both of Skegss’ lead-up singles, “Up In The Clouds” and “Smogged Out”. It’s a new direction in a similar space for Skeggs whose backyard-rocking sounds have been the envy of many other artists, as the band’s relatable natured songs have seen them rise fast, becoming a staple for summertime festivals and playlists. In their time touring it seems the band has matured a lot, with some real moments of deep life insight impacting through the album.
What has made Skegss such a great band so far is their relatability, their lyrics capture the heart of people and My Own Mess, is no stranger to this with Skegss’ writing seizing on the everyday and turning that into a track’s focal point. Yet, as we saw with their single “Up In The Clouds”, this writing can also come with some intrigue, the band creating music with deeper meanings and the resolution of anxieties behind their words.
This idea captures most of the album’s songs including “Stop” with it’s heavy standout bass, “Transaction Fee” and “Road Trip” all of which demonstrate the signature garage punk sound alongside this lyrical prowess.
There’s still a sense of flair and fun on the album though; “Margarita”, a song calmly admitting it likes a drink sits right in the middle of the album and is a testament to garage rock, with it’s lackadaisical backing drum line and testy hooks “excuse the booze” and “have a margarita”. Skegss hone in on the backyard fun they’ve been cultivating since their inception with “Margarita” and evoke the backyard spirit of sitting back and having a drink.
The album is measured seemingly well and doesn’t lose pace of itself as it moves through the tracks, on the whole My Own Mess floats between the faster chordal patterns of tracks like “Couch Party” while other tracks, particularly “Midnight Eyes” and “Need To Do” are more laid back, giving the album a little bit of breathing room before raising the intensity through Ben Reed’s ripping vocals in “Testing” toward the album’s end.
The title track, “My Own Mess” flies toward the close, sitting at only two minutes forty, the short but sweet song feels like it’s over before it has started, but it’s a rollercoaster of fuzzy guitar chords and calmed hooks making the track really stand out on the album.
“My Mind” is an absolute way for Skeggs to finish the album, the track follows the sound they’ve been known for, it’s a strumfest, slightly more upbeat through the mid-chorus than some of its accompanying, yet it couples it’s upbeat sections with a slow, but seemingly animated piano line to help drive sentiment though the closing verses.
My Own Mess is a great album for any long-term Skegss fan or someone just coming into the trio’s energy bound sounds, it combines both the spirit of their original releases as well as throwing in new ideas to help liven the album up and keep their music fresh.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
My Own Mess is available this Friday.