New York is brimming with immigrants who were lured there by its magical status to the point where you have to wonder how many born-and-bred New Yorkers make up the numbers. The debut album from Skaters embodies the starry-eyed romanticism of adoring outsiders applied to the bustling metropolis.
Those detractors of New York city cops, The Strokes, are an obvious comparison here. Although Skaters choose the “young and beautiful” of Manhattan as their targets as opposed to dumb cops, there’s a real similarity to The Strokes’ scrappy but catchy sounds. Like latter-day (ie. not very good) Strokes, the band show a willingness to break out of a well-trodden indie-rock sound and make a real mess with the reggae-ska shuffle of Band Breaker and a tiresome funk dirge called Fear Of The Night. There are also numerous winks and nods to British acts like Arctic Monkeys and Palma Violet, particularly on the infectious I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How), while the preceding Nice Hat has the rough, raw exterior of Babyshambles and The Libertines.
As you could guess from the amount of other bands referenced in this review, there’s nothing particularly new going on here. Certainly the expression of unequivocal love for New York has been done to death. It’s okay to be overly familiar, but it shouldn’t be this forgettable.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: Miss Teen Massachusetts
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Room On Fire THE STROKES, 180 PALMA VIOLETS
In A Word: Uninvolving