Tuesday, 23rd January 2018. 10:44:13pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Skinner Box - Life is Chemistry

Artist: Skinner Box

CD title: Life is Chemistry

Label: AF Music

Genre: Shoegaze, Goth, Indie

Reviewer: DJ Kantrip

Date: 06/11/2013

 

skinnerbox thumb

 

Once a month I spin a Post-Punk and Shoe gaze night at the local club here in Seattle, WA.   The nice part of the gig is that it's an excuse to dig through some the old Project and 4AD stuff I haven't had a chance to play for several years. Such a format can be fun but after a few months it can be a challenge to add flavor into my sets. My goal is to keep the tone goth but also bring back that indie rock vibe that makes shoegaze bands to hard to pigeonhole.   After digging around one of the promo sites I use, I found this awesome musical gem.

 

Life is Chemistry is the debut album from the Grecian band, Skinner Box. Formed in 2011, the band creates a sound reminiscent of This Ascension, Tori Amos, Cocteau Twins, and The Shroud. Their 5 song debut shows how versatile the band is by showcasing their indie, shoegaze and even softer goth rock influences in each song.  

 

Opening the album is “Goldfish Memory”, which starts with a gentle throbbing bass-line, light guitars and some synths. Vocalist, Vana Rose's mournful vocals lull you into a soft sense of security, and then the chorus hits. The guitars, bass and synths grow wolf-like teeth, and the vocals take on a tinge of anger. Fans of early Tori Amos will love the second track, “A Passage In Time”, which is centered around the piano.   Even the vocals dance around the stunning work that Stefano Manousis does on the keys. “O-Type” is something straight from 90's era Projekt Records, with the vocal harmonies and perfect melding of guitars and keys. The bass-line and drums keep a steady rhythm but let the rest of the elements soar as high as they can go.   However on “Paperdoll People”, they get their chance to snarl.   This track goes back to basics with no keys. Just guitar, bass, drums, and vocal harmonies with a slightly dirty indie garage rock feel. Closing out the album is “Slow Motion” Vana Rose's vocals sound mischievous and lusty, while guitarists Spyros Mitrokotsas, and Nikos Zourbakis cut loose. Even drummer George Papanastasiou unleashes on this song. Through out the album the entire band keeps a very disciplined and focused sound, but in this closing track you can hear the fire that burns through these musicians.

 

While I am not the most eloquent when it comes to describing shoe-gaze or indie rock, I know what I like, and Skinner Box I like a lot.   It has that little element of goth darkness without limiting itself to that sub-genre. It is fun and emotional Shoegaze that isn't afraid to show a bit of anger now and then.   I highly recommend this album to anyone who wants something that revisits that 90's goth/indie era, but also has a newness to it.   I hope that there is more forthcoming from this band because five songs is not enough in my opinion. More Skinner Box!!

 


Check them out:

 

Skinner Box

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

 

DJ Kantrip


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