Displaying items by tag: Skeleton Key

Love in Minor Key - Skeleton Key, 'Gravity is the Enemy'

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/29/13) - New York's Skeleton Key has released their first new album in nearly a decade, and it was worth the wait. Gravity is the Enemy on Arctic Rodeo Records is a rowdy, 53 minutes worth of junk banging joy.

Formed by Lounge Lizard alumni and puppeteer Erik Sanko, Skeleton Key brings the avant-garde to the mainstream. The four-piece band consists of Erik Sanko on bass and vocals, Craig LeBlang on guitar, Bob Vaccarelli on drums, and Benjamin Clapp on junk. Yeah, you heard that right, Clapp plays junk.

Light-hearted weirdness and junk percussion could easily become a gimmick for most rock bands, but Skeleton Key has once again demonstrated just how talented they are at making fine art out of the aural chaos of a factory floor. Imagine a freight train billowing smoke and rumbling down the track full speed, but it's filled with pillows and spitting flowers. That is the dichotomy of Skeleton Key. Great rock riffs and pop hooks abound, but they are punctuated by an array of unusual sounds—the ping of a drum stick hitting a propane tank or mallets beating on the strings of an old bass fiddle.

Even if unusual subject matter like ditties about circus freaks and sea-shanty interludes aren’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with this release. There is enough straight-down-the-middle rock feeling to please even the most fickle of ears. Fans of The Melvins, Tomahawk, and Helmet will feel right at home with Gravity Is The Enemy.

Stand out tracks on the album include “Machine Screw,” “The Mowing Devil,” “Everybody's Crutch,” and the title track, “Gravity is the Enemy." You can find the album for free on Spotify here.

5 Landon Beards out of 5

NOTE: The rating scale for our music reviews is represented by the late Landon Miller's bearded mug—or will be once we get the graphics designed. Originally, Landon had the position of music reviewer. Yet, due to being extremely busy, he had to hand the position off. I had always planned on using his likeness, and his beard especially, as a visual representation of how I felt about an album I reviewed. It really was an epic beard. (It needs it's own awesome adventure comic. I'll work on that idea at some other point, I promise.) But I had intended it as a joke for him. Landon was always a good-natured guy with a quick, heart-warming smile, and I can only hope he would flash that smile again knowing I was going to use his bearded mug as our barometer of whether or not a band was worthy. We used to spend the greater portion of our time together talking about bass, techniques, music, gear, and mostly...bands. We had a mutual love for strange and/or weird bands and genres. We used to burn each other CDs of obscure bands that we thought each other would like. It was during one of those conversations that Landon introduced me to Skeleton Key. That was four or five years ago. It was one of the first times he had heard my bass lines/riffs. He used to always say I played "circus bass," which is a label, I think, that aptly fits to my original compositions. But it was after hearing me play a certain riff, which I''m sure many of you have heard me play ad nausem, that he said, "Dude, that sounds like a Skeleton Key riff!" I said "Who?" A CD was quickly produced and he was right. I ended up loving that band. We had always talked about doing a two-bass band that wrote weird little songs about weird little things, which we wanted to call "Skin and Bones," because, hey, two fat guys playing bass called "Skin and Bones" is humorously ironic. We liked the dichotomy. But anyways, I'm rambling. I have lots of little stories and tidbits about Landon, as I'm sure everyone whose lives he touched does. I'll share some of them over the coming years with you all. I love you Landon. I hope to jam again with you some day.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Matt & Lindsey Stewart

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