Scuzzed-out indie that giddily justifies its debt to NY forefathers

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Skaters - 'Manhattan'


Skaters – ‘Manhattan’

Skaters couldn’t make their allegiance to the 2003 school of New York cool plainer if they mooched about with Strokes badges pinned to their leathers. Big Apple-based, but with Joshua Hubbard – former guitarist of mid-’00s indie types The Paddingtons – among their number, it will probably come as no surprise to anyone that moments on debut album ‘Manhattan’ could pass for long-lost outtakes from ‘Room On Fire’. Luckily, at least six tracks conform to a brilliantly giddy, dancefloor-friendly rock’n’roll template that totally justifies the occasional look back.

Early single ‘Schemers’ is the highlight, a bounce of fuzzed-out guitars and relentless rhythmic chug that sees frontman Michael Ian Cummings bawling, “//We’ve all got problems/And I just can’t take it no more!//” ‘Symptomatic’ provides a lighter, ’60s-influenced touch, while ‘Miss Teen Massachusetts’ recalls The Walkmen with its growling angst and gritty crescendos. There are a couple of duff tracks here, in the shape of ‘Fear Of The Knife’ and the horrible cod-reggae of ‘Bandbreaker’. More broadly, Skaters’ whole shtick can feel about as current as that Hot Hot Heat T-shirt lurking in your bottom drawer. But you keep it because it feels so good when you pull it on, so where’s the problem?

Lisa Wright