Monday, 6 October 2014
EP Review - Skinny Dipper - Masks
Once again, Olive Grove Records strike gold, with latest signings Skinny Dipper proving a great addition to what is already a hugely talented roster. The nontet, who describe themselves as 'almost a girl group', are collected from a diverse bunch of bands ranging from Randolph’s Leap to Quickbeam to Blochestra and many more. Put them all together and the result is this magical EP, stuffed to the gills with beautiful melodies and perfect for indulging in as the last sunny evenings of the summer fade away.
Masks opens with standout track Landing. The instantly catchy melody grabs you, whisking the listen on a journey that combines '60’s California pop with The Sundays at their Reading, Writing and Arithmetic peak.
Hospital Bed follows and continues the melodic folk pop feel of Landing quite brilliantly. The pace slows with The Kids Are Moving On although that’s not to say the quality drops in any way, as it’s a lovely track. What comes next is something of a surprise. Cellphones is a track made up of samples of dialogue and distorted guitar and almost comes across sounding like something Mogwai would produce, for instance Repelish from Rave Tapes, minus the sense of foreboding and doom. It’s a strange track in the context of what has gone before on the EP, but it’s not unwelcome. Finally, the EP ends with Son Of A Mitch which provides the perfect closer to an excellent debut release.
Masks provides a real benchmark, not just for Skinny Dipper, but for all multi instrumental folk-pop bands, as to what the benchmark is and can be. If future releases continue down this path then there is much to look forward to in the future.
- David McElroy
Skinny Dipper - Masks is out now via Olive Grove Records on download and 12" vinyl. Get both here.