Skew: Skew

[13 January 2009]

By Chris Conaton

Skew’s self-titled debut takes a variety of synth sounds, adds fuzzed-out distortion, and crafts them into an album’s worth of mid-tempo songs. He boasts about combining rock riffs, pop melodies, and hip-hop beats, but the end result is curiously inert. These beats certainly aren’t banging enough to attract the attention of MC’s in search of a producer. The melodies aren’t catchy enough to stand on their own as instrumental pop songs. The tracks don’t have enough energy to get played in techno-friendly clubs. And Skew mostly wastes great, rock-winking titles like “Can I Get More of Everything in the Monitors” and “Bring on the Riffs” on limp tracks that don’t go anywhere.

Still, it’s not all disappointing. Opener “Stadiums Are OK, Too” is memorable and fun, and the one instance where the song almost lives up to its winking title. And tracks two and three have a similar grimy, low-key drive that fools you into thinking the album could be a cool listen. But once things settle in, Skew becomes background music. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t make enough of an impact to be memorable.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/67197-skew-skew/