After nearly five years since their last full-length album, 2009 plays host to a new album from the band Skychief. Based out of Akron, Ohio, Skychief is the kind of band you would expect to discover at Warped Tour. The new album Autoexciter is a testament to this with 13 tracks of hard punk rock. Of the 13 tracks, 75% of the sound is generic. While the songs are not necessarily bad, the majority of them won’t leave a memorable tune in your ear.
After nearly a decade of playing together, the four members of Skychief have created an album that shows influence from bands such as Kiss and Smashing Pumpkins. Also noted is the resemblance to the earlier days of Blink 182 on tracks like “Desire.” Although lacking some of the clean and developed sound of Blink, Skychief has two vocalists that play off each other well on the tracks. However, the vocals focus more on the “scream-singing” style and suffer from occasional pitch issues.
An interesting addition to the album is the song, “Naughty is Nice.” The song begins by channeling classic rock vocals that exude a more mature sound than the garage punk vocals of tracks like “10 Hours.” The last minute of the song goes into a short speech set to a rock instrumental, and it actually works for them. Following up on the inventiveness of this song could be the key to help Skychief break away from common rock clichés in the future.