Skymonk’s “Carapace” represents rock with true grit and soul. Energy pours out of every piece. The attention to stylistic flourishes gives the entire collection such a gorgeous, luxurious feeling to it. Over the course of the journey Skymonk incorporates elements of punk, indie rock, hard rock, even a little bit of jazz inflected moments. By choosing such a great plethora of choices Skymonk ensures that their sound expands up into the sky. Reminiscent at times of the Pixies’ “Bossa Nova” album everything about the collection drives forward with such clear-eyed intensity. What truly ties it together is the shimmering vocals and elegant wordplay that grace the entirety of the work.
Opening with impeccable style “1984” introduces the collection on a high note. Guitar work displays an incredible flexibility to it, veering from near-chaos to remarkably refined gestures. Full of passion “Stitches” barrels through with extreme intensity, refusing to let up for any reason. Insistent riffs and powerful rhythms give the track a physicality to it. Much more spacious and opting for a driving rhythm is the classic rock-inspired “To Have And To Hold”. At times recalling Spoon’s casual cool the way the piece evolves gives it a playful spirit. Blistering through “Old Dog” opts for a take no prisoner approach. Easily the highlight comes at the very end, with the powerful bluesy force of “All My Shame”.
With “Carapace” Skymonk aim straight for the heart with an emotionally rich and resonant aural universe.
By Vince Rodney