Byron Bay shredders, hell-raisers and all-round legends Skegss had their breakout year in 2015, signing as the very first artists to Dune Rats’ Ratbag Records label, releasing their debut EP 50 Pushups For A Dollar and touring near ceaselessly both around the country and abroad, laying waste to many a stage in their wake. Today they look to push their career to further heights with the release of their sophomore EP, the upliftingly-titled Everyone Is Good At Something.
The record kicks off with a Ramones-esque intro in Slayer. It’s almost militant, three chords having the life chugged out of them while frontman Ben shouts furiously over the racket. Mustang dials the aggression back a little in favour of jangly summer weekend vibes over a thumping backbeat, a slow-burning breakdown leading into a big sing-along finish. Lead single My Face picks the pace back up immediately, the guitars turned up to 11 on the fuzz scale and Ben’s vocals set to a 90s grunge drone. It’s a wicked little slice of surf punk sure to set crowds alight as a live belter.
New York California sounds like a hangover, Ben’s vocals cracking with weariness as he transitions from warbling to shouting about heading to the fictional New York, California with Coca Cola and cigarettes. Van Halen owes little to the classic rock band it takes its name from, neglecting big synths and solos for distorted vocals and more of the same classic punk chord progression and relentless rhythms Skegss channel so very well while Stranger, like Heart Attack on Pushups, is another quasi-ballad, a positively breezy and low-key jam full of introspection and life-on-the-road insight.
By the time Wake The Fuck Up, an uproariously fun ode to getting absolutely buckled for no real reason, finishes the record you’ll probably be heading straight back to the start for another listen.
Sonically, Everyone Is Good At Something doesn’t venture too far from the surf punk foundations laid by 50 Pushups For A Dollar, but as the title says, everyone is good at something and Skegss happen to be fantastically talented at making punk rock: three honest chords on sun-bleached guitars, chugging rhythms and lyrics reflecting both the debauchery and uncertainty of themselves and the young crowds they manage to wow over on an almost nightly basis. It may seem simple, but Skegss run with that and inject as much fun and energy into that simplicity as they can and the results are palpable here. Everyone Is Good At Something is the kind of punk record that gives you hope for the future of the genre. They may be the purest and best punk rock band in the entire country right now and we’re looking forward to whatever Skegss have up their sleeves next.
You’ll be able to catch a heap of new tunes from it as Skegss head out on tour around the country with Dumb Punts and Verge Collection in August. Check the dates below and grab your tickets at Skegss’ website:
Skegss ‘Everyone Is Good At Something’ Tour:
Thu, Aug 11th: Rocket Bar, Adelaide
Fri, Aug 12th: Player’s Bar, Mandurah
Sat, Aug 13th: Amplifier, Perth
Sat, Aug 20th: Wrangler Studios, Melbourne (U-18)
Sat, Aug 20th: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Thu, Sep 1st: Newtown Social Club, Sydney
Fri, Sep 2nd: The Brightside, Brisbane
Sat, Sep 3rd: Foundry Records, Brisbane (U-18)
Sat, Sep 17th: Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay