Son of Skooshny – Confection

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Three years on from releasing the Mid Cent Mod EP, US band Son of Skooshny returns with its successor Confection and another collection of melodic rock/pop tracks simply warranting attention.  Admittedly, three of the songs making up the encounter were released as singles along the way but it is as part of Confection that they really blossom, each adding a magnetic aspect to its engaging whole.

Son of Skooshny is the creation of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Mark Breyer, a project evolving out of acclaimed seventies band Skooshny who despite eventually breaking up found their releases still becoming collector items around Europe. Reforming in the nineties, they soon released a new EP with an album and compilation following, the latter in 2004. Six years later Son of Skooshny stepped forward, Breyer uniting with producer/collaborator Steve Refling, before unveiling debut album Lovers Leap of Faith. Its magnetic melodic pop sound further evolved within the 2013 Mid Cent Mod EP, a mellower blossom of imagination with a country/folk rock twist now pushed on again, while embracing the band’s pop instincts, by Confection.

The EP opens with Just a Test, a track swiftly seducing ears and attention with its tangy melodies and gently nagging stride. Equally a sixties pop air nuzzles song and imagination as Breyer’s expressive tones and suggestive melodies spread through the heart and body of the richly enticing encounter. As catchy as it is sultry, the song continues to coax body and appetite, its sound not a major leap from the last EP but richer in the weave of flavours and seductive prowess it bears.

That mentioned country scent spices the following No Ho, a slower gaited song which saunters with creative confidence as suggestive keys wrap Breyer’s words and the sonic romancing of the guitars. A melodic shimmer also lines the song replacing the snappier touch of its predecessor with its alluring presence and though it does not quite spark the appetite as forcibly, the track grows into a similarly potent proposal over time.

A similar design of flavours and textures shape the melodic caress of Cloud Cover straight after, a soft slice of catchy mellow pop deceptively low key as tempting harmonies cuddle and melodies conjure. Within this tranquil serenading though, an orchestral scented theatre rises within the song’s multi-layered landscape which only draws the imagination deeper into its beauty.

Half of the World is next, a melodic rock ‘n’ pop croon with its own adventure in catchiness draped in sixties inspired melodic flames and vocal smooching, before The Subtle Eye closes up the release with its smouldering country twanged caress. Both tracks have a XTC Oranges & Lemons / Elvis Costello Almost Blue like fusion to them, a flavouring adding to the sixties and melodic pop invention Son of Skooshny persistently show themselves so adept at casting.

Released earlier this year on Bandcamp but now being given a broad release through CD Baby on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and other stores by the band itself, Confection is a warm melodic snug with Son of Skooshny deserving of greater attention.

The Confection EP is out now across most stores and @ https://sonofskooshny.bandcamp.com/album/confection

http://www.skooshny.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Son of Skooshny – Mid Cent Mod

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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.

http://sonofskooshny.bandcamp.com/

8/10

RingMaster 21/08/2013

 

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Son of Skooshny: Lovers Leap of Faith

If the name Son of Skooshny seems familiar that is from the fact the band is a kind of offshoot of seventies band Skooshny. A recording band only and consisting of founders Mark Breyer (vocals, guitar), Bruce Wagner (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and soon after its beginnings drummer David Winogrond, Skooshny released a four track EP in 1978 followed by a single the following year. Both received great acclaim but also low sales due to primarily the band never playing live shows. More releases followed but eventually the band broke up.  Then in 1991 the band was alerted to the fact their releases were collector items around Europe. Eventually with Bill Forsyth of newly formed Minus Zero Records further copies of those records plus a compilation of unreleased material came out to great acclaim and strong sales. The band reformed and produced a new EP Even My Eyes and album, Water, with a compilation of their psych-folk-pop called Zoloto following, its tracks covering the band from 1976 to 2003.

Step forward to 2010 and Son of Skooshny with Lovers Leap of Faith. The album is not a brand new release admittedly but as in fitting with the history of its seed band it has slipped by people too easily and that cannot be allowed. Son of Skooshny is the project of Mark Breyer thus the background to Skooshny above. Here he has teamed up with long time collaborator Jeff Peters plus producer-collaborators Steve Refling, Arthur Schlenger, and Andy Colquhoun, as well as assorted friends. Lovers Leap of Faith contains covers of a few Skooshny songs plus new material and is a vibrant and pleasing collection of guitar pop and sixties teased/seventies spiced melodic rock songs.

The album opens on immediate favourite Another Time, a hypnotic fresh electrified feast for the ear. Melodically mesmeric and energetically raw it has an anthemic quality that reminds of seventies UK band The Only Ones. The melodic punk vein that throbs throughout is also Buzzcocks like and brings an intelligent urgency and craft to the song, whilst the vocals of Breyer here and in other parts of the album a mix of Pete Shelley and Peter Perrett.

Candy Air follows with a more restrained energy but a no less melodically enchanting breath. With a slight southern lilt the song caresses the ear with a delicate but firm display of imagination and thought, and openly shows the varied sounds that lie within the album. This is easily confirmed by the dusty rock sounds of Bare Bones a song which grows in stature the more you hear it.

     Lovers Leap of Faith does not always hit the same heights in every song though it is more down to personal tastes than quality of sound or songwriting, but when the likes of The Right Idea and You Can’t Leave Me fail to ignite the biggest fires tracks such as the excellent Science Changes Everyone with its full heart and imagination, Kate’s Green Phone a darkened Bolanesque song of psyched shadows and infectious punk pop insanity, and the insatiably melodic Love’s Not Impossible, more than cover their backs. All songs leave one enthused and bristling for much more, the second of the three the best song on the album and the engineer of wishes one had come across the musicians long before now.

Lovers Leap of Faith is a fine album that shows melodic pop does not have to be obvious, unoriginal, or sterile. The album also shows how easy it is for great bands to be missed by the masses no matter their ability and creativity. The former guise of one of its members may have been one of those bands but hopefully that will not be the case with Son of Skooshny, now is the time to make sure.

RingMaster 21/05/2012

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