Skaters return to their independent roots, after splitting from Warner Brothers, both in terms of record label and in spirit. The album has a more minimalist production style which I feel really allows them to flourish. Perhaps for this reason this album is reminiscent of a student finding their feet away from home. They are embracing themselves in this new and varied lifestyle, each track is different from the last and they span a wide range of styles. They are enjoying the shackles being off, and only having to account to themselves, as the album is full of quirky, off-beat, moments of experimentation, “Clip Art Link 1 Bubbles” being a prime example.
Like all good students there will be plenty of partying and this album incorporates every element that a memorable party needs. It has anthemic, adrenaline inducing, raucous moments in abundance. There are portions perfectly designed for hip shaking, jumping around the room, head banging and even slow dancing. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol are represented by the trippy, and seemingly random, samples or sudden jolts into a completely different direction. Once everything begins to wind down there are tracks like “Mental Case” which feel like the warm hug of the memory of what just took place. Then the morning after you have the soothing tones of “Restless Babe” which has the air of a much needed moment of quiet reflection.
For me the stand-out track on this album is “Respect the Hustle”, almost like Skaters ode to “New York I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down” by LCD Soundsystem. Skaters document the simultaneous elation and frustration of living in New York City, but mainly the darker side of the city that will crush your dreams and your heart.
“Rock and Roll Bye Bye LP” is out now and is available on iTunes or as a direct to customer vinyl from Qrates.