December 9, 2012

SKIMASK


Some of the greatest noise bands ever barely have any members, or instruments for that matter. No Age, Lightning Bolt and more recently, YVETTE, are merely two dudes with a guitar, a board of pedals and a drum kit. Death from Above 1979 does the same except with a bass. Death Grips and Liars are in an element all their own. Regardless of their weapons of choice, they all manage to kill our stereos and more than make up for their lack of filling the stage with human beings and equipment by putting their everything into over-the-top live shows. SKIMASK are a trio out of Allston, MA who've been ripping up the Boston area's basement scene and house show circuit since 2009, and have AwkwardSound very excited not just for those reasons or their unconventional set-up (two men on the mic -- one up front and the other channeling his vox through electronic devices -- and a primate of a drummer,) but because they're playing up the menacing enigmatic persona card pretty hard as well. Upon Googling up the IDs of SKIMASK, the most AS could come up with is that it features a former member of Bostonian band Rowdy Ones known as "Z" behind the kit, "A," an ex-member of the bands Suntan and Isle of Citadel pushing "mouth bass" musings through the electronic scraper, and their spit-firing frontman, Prof$t Mohamed (one of their labels later confirmed with AS that they do have first names, but let's not ruin the mystery, alright?) Undefinable suits their sound best, but if you must, there's influence of Pissed Jeans' unhinged hardcore and Lightning Bolt's unearthly drum assault throughout SKIMASK's debut LP, Cute Mutant. The album arrives December 21st on a trifecta of labels including Sophomore Lounge Records, 100% Breakfast and Infinity Cat, the label operated by one half of another dynamic duo of sludgy rockers in JEFF the Brotherhood's Jake Orrall, whom SKIMASK has toured with in the past. Despite it coming in at the tail of 2012, Cute Mutant is seeing heavy rotation here at AwkwardSound that makes it a rare post-list season Recommended Listen. With co-signs coming in from fellow noise thrashers Ed Scrader and Pissed Jeans, AwkwardSound is inclined to believe SKIMASK's late arrival impact will create aftershocks into the new year.



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