The Skintones, Never Get Better

The Skintones, Never Get Better

The Skintones are a punk rock trio from Madison, WI, and they’ve filled this album, Never Get Better, with politically-charged songs and traditional punk rock clich├ęs. They keep the number of chords on most of their songs to a minimum, but there are some impressive basslines and drumbeats. Some of the songs also have catchy, shout-along choruses, which are always easy for the listener to get into. Most of the songs’ melodies, however, consist of a single measure repeated over and over again.

The opening track, “Basket Case” (not to be confused with the Green Day song of the same name), is an energetic, anti-patriotic anthem describing the current state of things in our country. Other standout tracks include “Baba Ganoush,” named after a Turkish appetizer dip, and “Million $ Itch;” the latter of which is a nice little tune about materialism that makes clever use of metaphors (“You’ve got a million-dollar itch / With a hundred-dollar scratch”). Perhaps the best song, though, is “Rocka Locka”; it begins with a long instrumental reminiscent of Middle Eastern folk music, and then the shout-along chorus comes in: “Rocka Locka Mooka Locka / Rocka Locka Ding Dong / Rocka Locka Mooka Locka / Rocka to the Islam.” Sounding less like punk than any of the album’s other songs, it’s definitely worth hearing.

The Skintones are a talented group; they’d be cool to see in concert and, with more practice and experience, have the potential to become something big. This album is recommended for punk rock afficionados, left-wing political activists, and those interested in the current goings-on in the Middle East.

(Crustacean Records -- P.O. Box 829, Madison, WI. 53701; http://www.crustaceanrecords.com/; NONE)
BUY ME: NONE

Review by . Review posted Saturday, October 1st, 2005. Filed under Reviews.

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