Wednesday, 1 March 2017

EP: Bob Skeleton - If This Isn't Love

Bob Skeleton If This Isn't Love

Info: Bob Skeleton are a 4 piece Midnight-Pop band from Galway with influences including Miles Kane, Blossoms and Lana Del Rey. Intertwining late night grooves with shimmering melodies to create a dynamic blend of West Coast cool and Mancunian mood. 

After a busy 2016 including a Saturday night headline slot at Whelan’s Summer One’s to Watch and The Roisin Dubh’s summer Shindig alongside Search Party Animal and Bitch Falcon, Bob Skeleton ended 2016 on a high with a headline Whelan’s Midnight Hour and a sold out gig in The Roisin Dubh in support of their debut EP 'Shade'. 2017 has continued the momentum, opening for Otherkin in the Roisin Dubh and releasing their second EP ‘If This Isn’t Love’.

'If This Isn’t Love' was recorded in Furbo with Will O’Connor of Grounds for Invasion and Mastered by Carl Saff of Sub-Pop Records.

Bob Skeleton are an integral part of the new indie revival currently blossoming in Galway alongside the likes of Drown and The Clockworks, and their latest EP, If This Isn't Love, confirms that position. The three tracks provide ample scope to explore their varied styles, from pop-punk, retro-indie and alternative-folk. The EP's title-track kicks things into gear nicely, a melodically punchy punk affair that rollicks to a lovely and very danceable beat and bass-line, there's also a very strong appeal to be found in the quivering vocals that drive the songs mood.

I found myself a bit flummoxed by 'Living In The Deep End', there's just every chance that this could be one of my favourite Irish tracks of 2017 by year's end. It has an incredibly mature sound, and it also sounds simultaneously haphazard and extremely organised, I can't quite put my finger on it. The percussion and rhythm are so nonchalant, like they are about to veer off the edge of a cliff, but everything is completely under control at the same time. The sound is sublime, there's a tiny bit of Richard Hawley buried underneath everything, mainly in the guitar riffs, the watery guitar effects and drums echo 1960's surf-rock and 1950's rockabilly, and the vocals are 100% exactly how they should be, sublime.

'Radio' has a very endearing innoncence, quite exposed, and very open in how much it shares with is, it's quite poetic and beautiful, fine balladeering that does nod it's cap to Elliott Smith at times, and yet sounds fresh. It is very difficult to strip everything down to just vocals and guitar on a recording and not sound like a thousand other songs, but Bob Skeleton have managed to produce the goods here and give us a track that won't be forgotten quickly. 

I have to hold my hand up here and admit I found If This Isn't Love a strange experience, all three tracks are very distinct from one another, they don't run naturally into each other in terms of sound unlike previous EP Shade. Somehow this didn't matter or take away from my enjoyment one bit, the surprise was turned into reward, I wouldn't call it a challenge as a whole, as that would infer a negative which does not exist, but it was something new for me to grapple with, and it worked on every level for me, for the second EP running.

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