After reviewing the last release from The Skinner Brothers, and being less than complimentary, when I was asked to review their latest single, “Shoot Me Up”…I spent the whole morning cracking my fingers and rubbing my hands, ready for another scything takedown.
Imagine my delighted surprise when I genuinely loved it!
From the word “GO”, the frenetic frantic guitars immediately grab the attention, bursting through the door like a horde of Millwall fans and screaming at everyone in the vicinity. On “The 2 Lager EP”, Zak Skinner’s vocals didn’t sit so well against the 90s dance backdrop they’d painted. However, on “Shoot Me Up”, feels like a man returning home after a long journey away. The 00s indie aesthetic they’ve brought this time round couldn’t be better suited to Zak’s drawling, swaggering style…the two go hand in hand like a can of Stella fits an away day train journey.
“Man I’m tired of the same arrangements”
If The Skinner Brothers keep bringing arrangements with this level of energy, bounce and bravado then I can’t see anyone getting tired of them anytime soon.
Bringing echoes of the 00s UK indie scene, the band once again manages to capture a real sense of nostalgia and it’s truly a blessing to hear a return of the jagged fuzzy guitars that once ruled dancefloors all over the country.
The chorus is instantly rememberable and you’ll find yourself singing along to it before you’ve even finished your first listen which, if you’re anything like me, you’ll still find yourself doing days later. Zak chimes in with an almost (dare I say) angelic tone, which sits against the crashing cacophony of noise like a lace curtain on a boarded-up council estate window, just the right balance of delicacy and disrespect.
Staying true to type, The Skinner Brothers have managed to combine the nostalgic waves with a refreshingly modern twist, with guest artist Jafro’s verse spraying across the track like an untethered assault rifle, adding even more heat to what is already an impeccably spicy dish. Jafro, the alias of Leicester rapper James Summers, is a real rising star of the UK grime scene and on this evidence it’s easy to see why. The verse casts the listener back to the heady days of peak UK grime, which most would argue is also the same era as the 00s UK indie explosion that’s present on the rest of the track.
Coincidence? I think not.
“Shoot Me Up” ends almost as abruptly as it starts, dashing out of the door like it’s just robbed your TV. With this rapid escape, the track manages to keep you listening even when it’s finished, leaving you looking round the room wondering where the party went to.
“Put me down as a fucking maybe”
Nah, this one’s a big YES.