Even when I was young, I was never down with the kids, so there’s no chance in hell that I am now that I’m (just about still) in my mid 40s.
Imagine my shock, surprise and – yes ok – just a little smugness, when I was sat at a match in the new Hundred cricket competition last weekend and knew one of the songs being played. A tournament that is trying to attract the youth and had a DJ and a grime artist between innings, changed tack and there was a pulsing punk throb, which got to a line: “call that Billericay Dickie, man, I am feeling wicked” and you do that thing where you know something and join in.
That, in case you aren’t as cool as me (!) is a line from the hook on “Iconic” the lead track on the last Skinner Brothers EP and it re-enforced everything I thought when I reviewed it. By that I mean, I am not the target audience Zak Skinner is going for, probably, but then, it also proves that brilliant music is universal.
“Culture Non Stop” buzzes with the promise of something huge. “The shit I done, I should have MBE’s” sings Zak – except he doesn’t, not really. Like the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn he has his own way of phrasing. Somewhere in-between The Streets and The Libertines, you energy in the hook of “I fucking vibe on it man” suggests this is not a four piece that is going to spend its Friday night watching cricket and football on TV.
“Told You So” is the sort of thing that packed the indie discos in the late 90s (I went if I was trying to convince a girl I was sociable) and I assume it still will. This is basically an anthem, for all the lads in the Lyle And Scott t-shirts.
“Jericho Star” has a reggae tinge, and is less ….for want of a better word….lairy and for blokes on an away day. There’s something almost summery and mellow about this, you hesitate to suggest an Americana vibe, but its here. It’s probably high.
“Mountain High” the last one, is absolutely late 90s. Bands like Radiator and Grand Theft Audio (who mixed Stone Roses with The Prodigy essentially) might well suck a thoughtful tooth and wonder “what if?” but wonder all you like, The Skinner Brothers are taking this to the very, very top.
Confidence? They’ve got it in buckets, bruv. “Fuck the people who say we fake news, I flip ‘em off, let ‘em read between the twos” is more than a line in the opening song. It’s their mission. The Skinner Brothers are coming for you. You’re either with them or against them, but either way, they are taking over anyway.