EP Review: The Skin We’re In #1
By Taylor Johnson
Brainchild of Song-writer Chris “Cricky” Markey, “The Skin We’re In”, who released their debut EP in 2009, are starting to make serious waves across the local music scene.
With air time on popular radio stations such as BBC Radio Ulster and U105 already under their belt, as well as a headline slot in their own home town of Newry, it seems the County Down lads are gearing up to do what they’ve been threatening for years – to burst from the shadows and establish themselves as one of Northern Ireland’s most exciting prospects.
I took a look at their newest eponymous EP “#1″…
The EP sparks into life with the attention grabbing “Society” which draws the audience in with a haunting synth and powerful vocal with a distinctive early Pet Shop Boy’s vibe.
The atmospheric nature of this tracks delicate opening is soon complimented by a beautifully melodic and almost hypnotic piano riff, which dances amongst the swirling vocals. A driving guitar dives in around the two minute mark, kicking the tune up a gear and showing another side of the bands unique sound.
The track also highlights Markey’s sophisticated and yet ambiguous lyrical style, “No matter how I try to please, others flatter to deceive, society is killing me, it’s there for everyone to see”, which would not look out of place in the song book of a certain Steven Patrick Morrissey.
“Blood Runs Red” immediately shows a different side to the local lads sound, as a staccato piano riff sets a bouncier and uplifting tone. As the song builds the content becomes clear, with the songs excellent structure allowing an indie guitar riff to be accompanied by a striking orchestral piece.
It sounds like it shouldn’t work, yet it really does. Markey’s natural wit and intelligent lyrics pulls no punches, “This love is dead to me, you’re nothing but a distant memory…” the songs triumphant mood and yet bitter content make a fascinating contrast, ending on a positive note, “You won’t get away with what you’ve done to hurt me”.
Track number three, “Asunder”, once again shows yet another dimension to this versatile record. Again, a melodic piano remains prominent, but this time it’s the powerful vocal which takes center stage as intricate harmonies provide a clever twist to what is essentially an electronic tune.
The EP ends with what may be the highlight, the delicate and yet rhythmic sounds of “Factions”. A beautifully composed ballad, with an almost Depeche Mode feeling, this track sounds like it would fit perfectly in a film trailer.
“Factions” builds to an epic climax, again utilizing a well conducted string section as well as a synthy riff. It is an excellent and appropriate end to the EP, as it doesn’t have an abrupt ending of sorts, instead simply continuing to ascend, before a clever fade out which leaves you with a real feeling of anticipation for the next release.
Surely an album can’t be far away now? You have the feeling that when it does, it’ll be a bit special. Very exciting times indeed.
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