REVIEW album Skinny Lister The Devil, The Heart, The Fight

Skinny Lister Making A Splash

The Devil, The Heart, The Fight

Skinny Lister

The third album from folksy pirate ensemble Skinny Lister is about to drop right through the ocean floor and make a bit of a splash throughout the land. This collection of galvanising sounds is a sure fire way to get anybody going and I defy you to listen to this without at the very least a little tap of the toes. But more likely a full on jiggle around the decks as you set sail for fun times.

This album has a wholesome kind of dirtiness woven deep into the tapestry of each of the songs. Or maybe a dirty kind of wholesomeness. Either way it works, and while it’s not a style that I’m used to, I promised myself and that I’d welcome any genre, sub-genre or dub-hub-submarine genre with open ears and an easy heart. The rollicking chants and rolling lilt of the two lead vocalists intertwined make for some delightfully straightforward and laid-back listening.
Drops of sunshiney accordion are squeezed onto the sound like the last drops of every good festival of the summer. Vocals like the scrape of gritty barnacles crusted onto jagged rocks. And an over-riding energy, not a million miles away from the likes of Dexys Midnight Runners, and the obvious comparisons to the punky folksiness of The Pogues and The Mahones. There’s also a vague smidgen of Joe Strummer coming through in a few of the lines before disappearing back into the ether.

Standout tracks are the opener ‘Wanted’, a joyfully infectious two and a half minutes, the Kirsty MacColl-ish ‘Hamburg Drunk’ and the sweet melancholic ache of missing someone far too much in ‘Reunion’. For me there are some tracks which clearly deserve a bigger airing than the tininess of my laptop on the kitchen table. ‘Tragedy In A Minor’ and without a doubt ‘Beat It From The Chest’ are made for sweaty gigs in back rooms of pubs or hot rum-drenched festival tents with a jumping crowd singing and chanting along. Luckily, the Skinny Lister six are out on the road this coming October and if you’re quick you might be able to still grab a ticket and sail away on the seven seas with them.