Reviewed by Ian Phillips.
By Skegss, Loma Vista/Caroline Australia 2021.
It’s good to have the surfer trio Skegss back with a new album.
Their last album, My Own Mess, was released in 2018 and it was an absolute cracker reaching No Two on the ARIA charts and it only just missed out on the top spot for Best Album of The Year to Amyl and the Sniffers self-titled release.
I think the reason I like them so much is their lack of pretension; they’re out to have a good time and that comes through in their music.
Skegss play a mixture of surf/punk/garage rock that is as infectious as it is captivating.
It’s raucous and energetic and although the sound sometimes comes across as being raw and a bit loose it is in fact really well-crafted and deceptively tight.
The band started as a knock about surf rock band in Byron Bay and it consists of Ben Reed on lead vocals and guitar, Jonny Lani on drums and Toby Cregan on bass.
In addition to their two albums they’ve also released a series of really good Eps. 50 Push Ups For A Dollar (2015) and Everyone Is Good At Something (2016) stand out.
With each release the quality of the boys output steps up a gear.
This usually results in a more polished final product that comes at the expense of energy and vibrancy but this hasn’t been the case with Skegss.
Rehearsal still contains all the things that attracted me to the band in the first place, the jangly guitars, chugging rhythms and driving bass are still there.
The understated lead guitar, in fact there’s no screaming note-bending guitar histrionics on the disk, just simple, clean, and melodic single note solos.
The album is as close to the good old-fashioned pub-rock scene as it’s possible to get.
As the boys have matured, I’ve noticed a shift in the lyrical content of their songs from the wild partying and pursuits of the teenagers of their earliest songs to content that is possibly a little more worldly and wise.
Rehearsal is an album that grows on you the more you listen to it and while it didn’t initial grab me like My Own Mess I found that my enjoyment grew the more I delved into is content.
Skegss have basically stuck to the formula that has been so successful to this point, however Rehearsal is definitely moving them into new territory that contains more complexity, both musically and lyrically.