Zac Skinner with his peaky hat, lank curly hair, looking like he is coming down or coming back up is like a modern day Artful Dodger.
He looks like nothing else around at the moment!
He’s going to be the next big rock star (if things like that still exist). More attitude then NWA, more swagger then Liam, he’s as likely to sell you an 8th as he is to ask you for some.
He’s a charming rogue, a misfit, he looks and sounds dangerous. The type of bad boy that may be brought home to meet you by one of your kids. (oh god please no).
However he may just be in the most important band in the UK right now.
It’s fair to say that the Skinner Brothers are creating a buzz at the moment. Their mixture of punk rock rap grooves coupled with incendiary live gigs have put them on a path to the mainstream. They are one performance on Later with Jools, or highlighted at a big festival from being the next big thing. They seem unstoppable right now and could be the major kick up the arse this music industry needs right now.
They have just released their second album soul boy II. Pulling together the best tracks from recent EPs n Singles. It’s Geezer Pop at its finest.
It mixes the beats n street culture of The Streets (sic), the glam rock stomp and riffs of Kasabian, (both of whom the brothers have supported). It also has it influences in the grooves of the Fun Loving Criminals, Flowered Up or the suburban charms of Hard-Fi. But also importantly it’s got a jazz and Coltrane feel to it. I heard Zac talking about his love for the latter and I can hear this in their tunes.
Songs like Mountain High, Put me down as a maybe, Low, 1000 Reasons Why and the iconic Iconic are the go to bangers of course, but the more reflective Away Days and Stupid Much show a softer side to them.
Whilst this album continues the upward trajectory of the band, for me it isn’t quite the finished article. Just like The Clash took a couple of albums to nail their sound and vision with London Calling. Soul boy II is like those early Clash albums but almost a full stop on where they are now. If they can pull off an album as great as LC then they really have a chance of going down as a great 20’s band of their generation.
What I do know now is that they are exciting everyone that hears them, just like bands like The Heavy North, Dictator, The Shed Project and many others are ploughing their own path the Skinner Brothers are likely to be the ones that kick the doors open and herald a new beginning for alternative music.
This is what is exciting. Most important band in the UK right now? Yeah probably.
The Skinner Brothers are on tour next month, make sure you check them out in these small venues before it’s too late. I am. Unmissable.
Soul Boy II is out now on all usual streaming sites.
Let me know your thoughts.
Peace N Love