Jan 2022 04

Album CoverSkatenigs
Album: What Could Go Wrong?
Category: Industrial / Punk / Metal
Label: Armalyte Industries / Cleopatra Records
Release Date: 2021-11-05


A popular animated sitcom had once joking referred to Texas as the “fuck you” state, which might seem true if Skatenigs’ raucous pseudo-industrial blend of punk, metal, and whatever other sonic tomfoolery that happens to tickle the band’s fancy is any indication. Celebrating the group’s third decade, What Could Go Wrong? finds Phil “Phildo” Owen, Chris Ahrens, Myke Bingham, and Adam Lamar presenting a hard-edged set of songs that sees the group sticking rather grittily to the knitting of what drove Skatenigs in the first place.

Oh sure, social and political themes underscore the band’s music, but they are extrapolated in a decidedly flippant punk fashion. This can be heard on the predominantly electronic wankery of the title track, or in the straightforward protest metal of the smarmily titled “Burn This Motherfucker to the Goddamned Ground,” with lyrics like “The system doesn’t work” all too resonant in virtually any timeframe of the modern age. Even the raunch and wrath of a song like “PTSTD” treads the line of profound yet pompous, the chants of the title amid Chris Gates’ ringing guitar tones and backed by the sultry accompaniment of Hillary Tory and Jennifer Omelianoff making for one of the record’s catchiest tracks.

“We’re In This Shit Together” sees King Ko, George Savage, and even the legendary Charles Levi adding a sardonic and very welcome hip-hop flavor, while the organs and repeating guitar phrases of “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” add a touch of psychedelic whimsy. Owens’ primarily raspy voice takes on a slight baritone swing a la Jim Morrison or Glenn Danzig on “We Can’t Have Nice Things,” appropriate to the song’s whiskey-drenched blues strut, while “Blood Money” sees him almost sounding like a carbon copy of Al Jourgensen; of course, given his tenure in Revolting Cocks, along with the similarity in style that he imbued in Skatenigs, such comparisons are perhaps inescapable, especially on tracks like “Here We Go Again,” Get Out of Me,” and… oh, look at that, Owens and company have included their own meaner and meatier rendition of the classic “Beers Steers and Queers.” Longtime fans be warned – you might end up liking this version more than the original.

Throughout the album, the rhythm section stands out due to Bingham’s thunderous bass tone, backed by the percussive fury of Bradley Bills, Galen Waling, Dan Milligan, Andy Selway, and Jason West. On top of that, the string-slinging energy of guitarists like Riggs, Cesar Soto, David Skar Carpenter, and Mike Deleon ensure that Skatenigs’ definitively indefinable sound remains untethered to a single style, incorporating punk, rock, metal, and even blues in equally irreverent measure. Is it the best Skatenigs album yet released? Well… uh… y’know, it just might be.
Track list:

  1. Hell and Back Again
  2. We Can’t Have Nice Things
  3. PTSTD
  4. Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
  5. Here We Go Again
  6. Blood Money
  7. Burn This Motherfucker to the Goddamned Ground
  8. Get Out of Me
  9. What Could Go Wrong?
  10. We’re In This Shit Together
  11. Erase Today
  12. Beers Steers and Queers [Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Mix]
  13. Guided Meditation For Murder

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Armalyte Industries
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Cleopatra Records
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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