The collection of songs which made up Lovers Leap of Faith, the debut album from Son of Skooshny, showed a band which could create expressive melodic pop which had character and thoughtful enterprise as well as using the ability to light up feet and emotions. Recorded in 2010 it was a record to put them on the map though arguably things have been quite over the last couple of the years with the band. Now they return with their new EP Mid Cent Mod, a five track release which confirms the early promise and cements the quality shown whilst pushing the band’s sound into another fresh if not dramatically evolved field. Emotive and evocative, it is another fresh and pleasing encounter which pushes further the stature of the project.
Son of Skooshny is the project of Mark Breyer, the vocalist/guitarist of Skooshny from which this band has evolved, and producer-collaborators Steve Refling. With the previous album, the band unveiled a group of impressive songs which basked in guitar pop and sixties teased/seventies spiced melodic. On Mid Cent Mod though it still retains that core essence there is a more restrained almost singer songwriter like quality to the tracks as well as a strong whisper of not exactly country rock but with the guitars breathing a twang and bluesy caress it is a feel not too far away from that southern like murmur.
In the opening track Dizzy it takes a mere moment for the guitars to wrap a smouldering country teasing around the ear whilst the vocals of Breyer offer a mellow and persuasive narrative. The melodies bred by the songwriting engage and at times bewitch around the infectious pop stroll of the track, bass and drums making a steady frame for the rest of the song to lay down their poetic hues. It is an excellent start strikes for top honours on the release but at times it is not given an easy ride as the following Mid-Century Modern proves. The second track opens with the same kind of drawl from the guitar as its predecessor but is soon shaped into its own distinctive presence. A tender and provocative wash of melodies and vocal harmonies embrace ears and thoughts whilst the craft of the musicianship paints another open sunrise of elegant sounds and enterprising textures to seduce and richly satisfy.
Sorry is a sensitive ballad which is toned by what is now the norm on the EP, deep melodic colour and an emotive potency that stirs thoughts and feelings. It is a strikingly composed and delivered song though it struggles to match the heights of the previous songs especially as the release at this point asks for a little more diversity to its body which debatably the son does not bring. That does come with the final pair of tracks starting with Knee Deep. There is a steely glint in the eye of the guitars and song which magnetises ear and senses aided by the excellent kissing brushes of keys and the ever compelling vocals. A track reaping the glories of the earlier album and at moments tantalising with an Echo and the Bunnymen temptation, it is an outstanding encounter igniting the passions once again.
The closing Untold History is not going to be left in the shade though and offers a respectful blaze of guitar heat and rhythmic beckoning which sizzles on the ear whilst lyrics and their delivery spark further use of imagination. It is an excellent conclusion to a rather tasty and exciting release. Probably Mid Cent Mod does not surpass the height of Lovers Leap of Faith but with its slight shift in sound and the skilled invention of its creators it easily stands by its side and suggests even greater things are ahead from the LA hailing Son of Skooshny.
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