Thursday, June 20, 2013


It's seems like only yesterday that I had a handful of conversations in the bathroom and in front of the VFW with the dudes who would eventually morph into the local, supergroup, behemoth known as Skin Flowers. I'd just stare at Colin, Turley, Tom, John (and eventually) Nick and think "Say what? What the hell is that going to look like?"

I was excited. It's a hefty group of musicians (not to mention perfectionists), and I couldn't wait to hear what they came up with. I'm still not quite sure what I heard. Self described as "tender ballads about passive aggressive murder, jaunty calypso numbers about deep self loathing, all this and more" with a sound ranging somewhere between Steely Dan, The Velvet Underground, and Royal Trux is somewhat adequate, but it certainly misses some of the intricate awesomeness of this band. Yeah, there's this crazy classic rock thing going on, but it's like Bizarro world classic rock. It's at times more conceptual but with an intimacy that makes your knees swoon. The melodies are kite like, softly flowing in breezy grooves and tethered to some excellent lyrics. Skin Flowers not only finds a way to mix in a variety of influences but also keeps things smart and sultry. A fine wine with no guilt. A full length velvet robe stained with a lifetime of heartache.

Supergroup is too lame of a description. What's it mean, anyway? The band members have enough to hang their collective hats on (Shahs, Vampire Hands, Oblio Joes, Secret Powers, Hellgate Stranglers, Everyday Sinners, etc.), but it's not like some Constructicon amalgamation that rests on the whims and fancies of its component egos. Colin and Nick are some deftly clever songwriters and guitarists; John is a powerhouse on bass; and, the percussion duo of Turley and Tom pump out some dreamy, dexterous beats. The stuff works. It's not your usual cup of Total Fest tea, but it does mine our collective history for the forgotten root and tendrils that continue to nourish our insatiable thirst.

Here's a Skin Flowers approved jam.  

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