Skiptrace – S/T

Sometimes shuffling through the hundreds of CD’s piled up in tubs in my bedroom, or even thousands at the record store, I can’t decide what to hear. Skiptrace came into the masses, and being the designer/photographer snob that I am, the front cover art pissed me off so that I set it aside for days. It wasn’t the worst I’ve seen, offensive or frightful by any means. Just didn’t seem to have any significance. When you flip it over you see that it’s got John Agnello’s and Bill Janovitz’s names all over the mixing and production. Buffalo Tom had inspired a lot of rockers today and have always made great records, and these two were a huge part of them. I haven’t turned this disc off for four days now and can only recommend making it longer. The familiar feel reaches out in many directions, branching into a huge hand that picks you up at every break down. Vocals come out as unique and very much resemble Scott Born of Kill Creek after you get passed the picture of a Weezer geek look-alike mental image they create for you. As the album goes on the similarities follow through.

If you heard The Refreshments’ Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy, released in 1996, it was an amazing album, and this release by Skiptrace sounds great enough to be a modernized follow up together with Kill Creek’s and a style of it’s own. This self-titled EP also serves merely as a demo. What’s better is that the song “Don’t Support the Band,” I’m told, is all over the college charts and stations, striving and earning recognition it deserves.

Skiptrace seems to consist of a main two members, Scott Pribble and Scott Sellwood, who are from previous bands Burke and Flawheads. They have mastered harmony in duel-vocal layers and strength in driving guitars. Energy flows from trickled guitars to distorted break downs, and all of the uplifting vocal lines are emotional and serious. The drummer and bassist of pop/punk backgrounds joined in this band to create a new style of arrangements for their fourth members, which adds nicely to the mix. However, this band is clearly guitar-driven and full of inspirational lyrics and a warm feeling that seems to get to the point in a comfortable way.

The uniqueness often shows itself in endings and breakdowns glossing with shrivels, echoes, or overlapping catching vocals. Everything is tight as everything is beautiful and pushes you into wanting more. I don’t suspect any alternative indie rock labels would be opposed to putting this out. I would highly recommend it. Even with the cover art intact.