The Skinner Brothers Are a Class Act with ‘Soul Boy II’

Only four short years have passed since The Skinner Brothers formed in London in 2018 and launched their debut single ‘Watchu’, which they were immediately highly commended for. The lads have arguably had it even rougher than usual having chosen a rather challenging time to embark on a career in the music industry, with an encroaching global pandemic just around the corner.

The group haven’t struggled for popularity though, as an invite to join The Libertines on tour as support brought immediate notoriety for them, and the band have since shared a stage with The Streets and Kasabian. Today though, The Skinner Brothers do not stand far from this world-class level of talent themselves. Their latest offering ‘Soul Boy II’ brings us a plethora of attitude, distorted riffs and rebellious agendas, sugar-coated with endearing accents and thoughtful acoustic moments. The new album was released on February 18th.

The band’s sound is an amalgamation of musical genres, including (but not limited to) rock, hip-hop and jazz. This album embodies the grittiness of city life, and is akin to the sounds of Jamie T and The Libertines. The energy and tenacity of these tracks is major, and their fiery sound could find themselves roaring in the background of an aggressive football stadium of hooligans or a Peaky Blinder’s fight scene (and it’s not just Zachary Skinner’s get up on the album cover).

‘Put Me Down as a Maybe’ stands out from the album, and certainly gave me swagger stomping through the streets of Manchester to its first listen. The song has a serious demeanour but is also fun – it reminds me of those lads in town who are on a fine line between laughing around or starting a fight, intoxicated and a little confused. ‘M.O.R.E’ then, perhaps takes us just over this edge to where violence begins to erupt. It is effectively moody and intense with minimal vocals and a prominent riff. It is difficult to describe the feeling this album evokes in its listener, but it is simultaneously tempestuous and comforting, as if the whole piece is balancing on volatile emotions. And perhaps this portrays the effects of its subject matter in real life; sex, drugs, football and the city.

‘Culture Non-Stop’ is undoubtedly the most catchy song on the album. You cannot listen to this song and not want to be immediately beer-soaked and sweaty-haired in a crowd at one of the those legendary The Skinner Brothers’ gigs, known so well for their mischief. ‘Give It All to Me’ has a similar effect with its phrasing, it is catchy in a way in which it already sounds familiar. Zachary Skinner’s vocals are cheekily inviting, suggesting trouble but all in the name of fun.

The Skinner Brothers are all set for their tour this March which begins at the Waterfront Studio, Norwich on the 5th. Only give their new album ‘Soul Boy II’ a listen if you’re willing to immediately be forced to book a ticket like I did! Yes, it is that good.

Published by Olivia Dennison

Third year English student & creative based in Manchester.

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