SKY:LARK – LP2 (2016)

Few 7″s in recent years have been as rad as the Meadows / Sky:lark split on SuperFi in 2014; the Meadows side has two of their best back-breaking riff stampedes, the Sky:lark side so sharp and vicious sounding, with plenty of warped unmelodies and perversely catchy breaks. Of the two equally spot on bands, Sky:lark have been first to issue a hefty amount of new material in this LP, and it’s great to hear them challenging their previous template and still retaining all that nasty bite of their work so far. Passages of untamed saxophone blaring open and close shop on LP2, and between those two points Sky:lark introduce you to an excruciating and complex style of post-hardcore, not dissimilar to aspects of the last KEN mode album, but with a wicked tendency to untangle their pedantically heavy grooves in to beautiful guitar leads. ‘Big Rig’ lures with a cheery Minutemen bass that bounces in to a flailing breakdance of drum fills and whirlpool shredding. ‘Lam Elisa’ sounds like Ravachol covering Modern Life Is War, with some nifty staccato riff chopping straight out of Joey’s Kitchen. Often the tone takes dark directions, harking to distorted experimenters like Hoover and Engine Kid, but LP2 is adventurous, aggressive and skilled enough to warrant many years of repeated listens. I hope. Only been out a few weeks.