Guitarist and vocalist Kelly Nash, bassist Scott Roberts and drummer Ben Evans recorded their EP debut as Skymonk in late 2013, a little more than a year after founding the eclectic rock outfit. The results bear out the growth they’ve managed in that time.
The three-course platter kicks off with “Stop Looking At Me,” leaning on pop-rock formula with punchy, overdriven riffs propelled by the emphatic snap of Evans’ snares. Nash’s thick vocals, cushioned by sustaining strums, breeze into a soulful chorus accented by simple and articulate leads before a crashing bridge sends Skymonk back to its refrain.
Displaying its versatility, the band flows easily into the post-grunge-inspired “So Low.” Nash subdues his singing, accenting the song’s more mournful melody. Evans’ powerful percussion comes punctuated by Roberts’ thundering bass, lending additional power to the drummer’s every cymbal crash. Concluding with the acoustic offering “Matchless,” Nash dials back with eloquent strums played over plucked bass lines and a tribal drum backdrop, the mixture bringing to mind a more refined Guster.
Refusing to play it safe, Skymonk arrives with three looks it could easily refine in the future, a promising start for this talented band.