Minneapolis-based Skittish is set to release next month its latest album, Two Legs Bad. Jeff Noller, Brianna Tagg, Jeremy Krueth, and Lazarus Ulysses Clearwater come off as talented from the first bars all the way to the last ones, carrying listeners on a auditory path in which all tracks have a distinct feel but fit well under their band’s umbrella. Similarly, the sounds are vaguely familiar and yet have a unique twist that makes listening to them a journey of discovery.
The mid-tempo “Regarding the Wolf” starts off with a plucked electric guitar opening that leads into a throbbing, almost pulsating guitar and drum-driven pure rock track fronted by female and male vocals, both of which are distorted enough to bring another element to the table without distracting from the message Skittish is trying to convey. The pop rock “Shot in the Dark” conveys a completely different sound but builds very similarly: A slow tempo beginning is kicked into higher gear, with the female vocals coming through clearly this time. Those sensitive to coarse language might not appreciate the use of a radio-unfriendly word, but other than that, it’s a good track about dealing with the anxiety of not messing things up that comes from dealing with high stakes.
Up-tempo and driving “House Cats” features a modernised version of the quick, fast, jumping melody, carried by a guitar, typically associated with silly silent movies. Accompanied by a hand drum, the use of both female and male vocals specifically brings to mind a scene where a husband and a wife are trying to deal with a chaotic situation. “Roots” has a certain Caribbean hop to its beat thanks to the melody plucked on the bass. Mid-tempo “Baggage” is built on more typical rock and roll sounds and instruments—the good old combination of vocals, drums, and guitars.
The instrumentation on the ballad “Swim Away, Little Fish” features only a couple of guitars and delicate strings. Its vocals are mainly male with whispers of the female one intermittently weaving in and out. “Come Find Me” begins with a dance between plucked guitars, gentle drums, and soft female vocals before building up into a satisfying crescendo. Some of the effects added to the guitar bridge in “I Killed a Spider” bring to mind the squishing of a spider—yuck! The metaphor of a seemingly small action that has large scale repercussions is one much appreciated in this day of fast food, fast fashion, fast everything: “Today I killed a spider/Another thing that this world has changed.”
The piano ballad “Meet Your Maker” brings the album to a rewarding close.
Skittish’s Two Legs Bad contains a lot of diversity that seems to not be all over the place, instead fitting within a coherent auditory whole. They also bring to the table well-crafted melodies, talented vocals and instrumentation, and thought-provoking lyrics. More information is available on the band’s official website and on its Facebook page. Tracks are available for streaming on Bandcamp.
Pictures provided by Working Brilliantly.
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