As their Spotify bio so eloquently states, The Skinner Brothers “don’t fuck about”. With three albums in as many years, accompanied by a deliciously riotous plethora of EPs, The Skinner Brothers work as hard (if not harder) than any up-and-coming band. With tracks as slick and loveable as their casuals-esque clobber, the four-piece’s latest offering “Culture NON-STOP” is another dose of highly likeable genre-fluid anthems, proving that quantity and quality are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
It is often the case that the best compliment that can be paid to a new, exciting artist is that they sound like somebody else. We as music writers are keen to label bands as “Strokes-y” or “sound a bit like The Beatles”. With The Skinner Brothers, this is much more difficult as the lads sound like NO ONE else. Whilst the EP opener and title track “Culture Non-Stop” may have shades of chaotic indie stars such as The Libertines and early Arctic Monkeys tracks, tracks like “Told You So” are much more evocative of softer indie-pop, sonically fitting nicely with the likes of Jamie T and (more recently) Sea Girls. At some points, the heavy basslines and lyrical flow even sound more like groups like hip-hop and garage groups like The Manor or early grime MCs. Hopping between genres like London buses, The Skinner Brothers have established and cultivated a sound like few other bands. And indeed a sound which is always changing.
The EP hits the ground running with the eponymous track “Culture non-stop”. As the name would suggest, the track has little time to breathe, with bouncy post-punky chord changes and a surge of lyrics. Intensely likeable, immersive and slightly addictive, the opener is certainly the spark that sets the four-track release alight. The second track “Told You So” adds fuel to the fire, with a crackly start and an indie-pop bridge fit for any festival main stage. In this track, frontman Zachary Charles Skinner proudly declares “we’re just living!”, which could fit nicely for the band’s mantra.
The EP’s fire dwindles slightly with “Jericho Star”, the tokenistic softer track on the EP. With jangly guitars, the track has slightly less bravado about it, but maintains the Skinner vocal snarl which is omnipresent across the release. However, as the EP comes to a close, “Mountain High” ensures that the release finishes with the energy that it started with. With a bass-driven build-up, culminating in a bouncy crescendo, the Skinner Brothers stick firmly to their mantra of big guitars and invigorating lyrics.
With retro aesthetics, from album art to music videos, there’s no doubt that the Skinner Brothers are proud of the past. Yet, with a sound with shades of contemporary vibes, it is so hard to put them in a box. But who wants to be put in a box anyway?