We’re taking a bit of a side step on this latest review but it’s worth every pace. Sketchshow is a bright new sound being pieced together from across the United Kingdom. They gracefully dance the edge between tasteful tunes and technicality. This is done with an engaging style crossing elements of Math Rock, Progressive Rock, and Alternative music with plenty of *umph* to call its own.
Their music provides plenty of contemporary style catchiness that might just leave hooks in the mouths of listeners. However, it also dips into terrain traveled by the likes of CHON, Covet, Sithu Aye, and Good Tiger. So, imagine taking the music of acts like that and mashing it up with the likes of Paramore and you may get an idea of greatness that is occurring under the umbrella of Sketchshow. These name drops are not to put this band in any sort of box however.
As singer Satin Bailey belts out on track #4, “I won’t be a replica! / I won’t be a carbon copy” – that seems to be a part of this band’s mission. So far, they’re doing a pretty damn good job of it by crossing over a number of lanes without crashing! There’s a very free and fun spirit put on exhibition through this five-piece. However, there’s also a certain sadness and maturity behind the eyes of Sketchshow.
They’re about to release their debut EP effort which falls under a similar artistically motivated moniker of “Patchwork”. It’s set for an official release on the 6th of April! Pre-orders are currently available to those who make their way onto Bandcamp where you may also currently “name your price” for the record’s first track “Every Excuse”. Good deal!
Speaking of which, “Every Excuse” is a musically joyous and open introduction to this record with a thematic strengthening, growing lesson of sorts. I wouldn’t say it’s the most representative track of this band but it goes start the narrative off well. To dig further into said narrative, Satin seems to weave – or should I say sketch (ba dum tsk) – a story based around relationships, mishaps in love, moving on, and growing from them. It even ends the EP “with a chance to be free”.
The instrumentals of this record, brought about by the talents of guitarist Adam Curran, bassist / key player Joel Bamigboye, guitarist Luke Phillips, and drummer Scott van der Leeden are brilliantly tasteful. They really help drive the emotion of this debut. As a singular unit, this entire band functions as a well oiled machine. It’s clear they’ve put a lot of thought into just about every second presented on record. Kudos.
Things kick up a notch on track number 2. “Esperanto” has a nice technical edge to it with chopping instrumentation and some very tight grooves. It’s the moment where the Math Rock really smacks the listeners ear in all of it’s glory. “Ignorance” gets a bit tasty with a nice, laid back style that goes and explodes into a guitar solo later on before the song comes full circle into a close.
“Carbon Copy” is kind of like the EPs protest track backing a message of self affirmation over some really nice instrumental work that tastefully shifts around. “One” is a lovely build up to catharsis. It’s really a great way to bring this experience to a close and, narrative aside, Sketchshow did a relatively good job of laying out the track list.
I don’t really have any harsh criticisms to give this record. Objectively speaking, I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea here – especially considering this is traditionally a metal driven website where this kind of music sticks out like a broken bone. Subjectively speaking, however, I found a lot to enjoy through this EP experience. It’s very well thought out and executed on just about every level. Every member brings something important to the table, fitting together like a literal Patchwork. Despite being a debut effort, it comes off as very professional and very natural. I suppose one could hope it would be longer but, for an EP, it’s a very complete body of work.
All in all, this was a pretty kickass way for this band to kick off their particular career. I’ll admit that Math Rock is not a genre I frequently dip my toes into but I found myself swimming in the enjoyment of this record. Certain hooks and musical passages have consistently sprung into my mind and have been hooked there throughout this week. That in itself speaks to the quality of songwriting found here.
As with all sketches, the artist must step away and examine their work… Now, judgement comes and the hammer drops… Show it to the world and……….
I’m feeling a 9 on this release so we’ll leave it at that! This is less like a sketch or a patchwork and more like a brightly colored painting! Very enjoyable effort from Sketchshow here that’s worth visiting and examining more than once.
As stated before, the band has this awesome EP dropping on the 6th of April with pre-orders on Bandcamp. You can also follow along with these lovely musicians via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and on their Official Website. You can give a listen to the music through all the links provided above as well!