Monday 2 October 2023

Skyraker - Stars And Screams (Album Review)

Release Date: October 01st 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Stars And Screams - Tracklisting

Acoustic Song

Don't Know How To Tell


Lovely Lovely

Right On Time

No Vacancy

Into The Storm

Fortunate One

West Coast

My Sane


Jason Baker - Guitar/Vocals

Ben Carey - Bass/Vocals

Bryan Fairfield - Drums


Stars And Screams is the debut album from Psych/Space/Stoner Rockers Skyraker which is perhaps best described as a wild and out of control Rock & Roll circus with how they deliver the multiple styles of Stoner Rock and Metal throughout this album. Taking cues from artists such as QOTSA, All Them Witches, Monster Magnet, NEBULA and Pink Floyd that has the wild reckless spirit of Frank Zappa on the the more outlandish stages of the album. The record starts ever so blissfully with the opening two songs of Acoustic Song and How To Tell. 

Opening song is an exquisite Acoustic track featuring a uplifting Blues Rock/Americana based instrumental song that has an excellent free-flowing and easy-going attitude.No

Second track How To Tell is purely Pink Floyd influenced creative energy with a trippy All Them Witches based song but still allowing Skyraker to create, play and deliver their own bewitching style of Psychedelic Rock with cool sounding organs giving the album a wicked 1960's and 1970's contemporary sound. The atmosphere is warm-hearted with the freak-ish guitars and Alt Rock sounding vocals that makes you feel you'll be listening to a blissful and upbeat Stoner Rock album. So what comes next changes into absolute creative carnage....

Third song Spewer opens with a classic sounding Desert/Stoner Rock song with aggressive levels of Psychedelic Rock and Garage Rock. The vocals become more consumed by the bleak Desert Rock landscape. Layers of progressive Space Rock soon become more dominant before the song changes into a more outlandish style of Punk Rock and Sludge Rock. This opens up Skyraker to a more reckless creative attitude which results in heavier and wilder Hard Rock grooves which feels like it's being played by a different band compared to the opening two tracks of the album.

Fourth song Lovely Lovely continues with Spewer's aggressive and chaotic tone but then changes the direction yet again with a free-flowing Noise Rock driven STONER based sound. The Space Rock themes become more warped and even more distorted along the way which is more associated with NEBULA. Though, Skyraker still play their own blend of trippy "WEIRDO" Stoner Rock/Metal.

Fifth song Right On Time is a proper freak-ish and Psych Stoner Rock where the vocal spirit of Dave Wyndorf reigns supreme here. Things become ever so FUNKY and TRIPPY with Skyraker moving into multiple different areas of music at once. The song becomes more adventurous when the band operates with a more straight-forward Sludge Rock drive that allows this to become one of the standout tracks on the album. Moments of ambient glitches start to bring in the more crazed ZAPPA inspired moments of the album to appear and perhaps fully take over.

Sixth song No Vacancy is a Punk Rock driven number with Skyraker just playing what they want to play just for the sheer FUCKING FUN of it all. Huge crashing waves of Grunge and Warped Stoner Metal works impressively with the rebellious Punk based lyrics and intense vocals that allows Stars And Screams to be quite an out-of-body experience that delivers the albums finest moments in Stoner Rock/Metal debauchery and excess.

The final four tracks of the album sees Skyraker continue with their journey drifting into even more warped and experimental moments of Sonic Experimentation with Spaced Out attitude that remain constantly fresh and original especially on tracks such as Into The SKy, Fortunate One, West Coast and My Sane. There are some quieter moments with a more straightforward premise which outlines a whole different side to Skyraker. 

Stars And Screams is a frantic and crazed surreal experience which you don't rarely come across especially for a debut album. This all builds upto an exciting and heart-pounding slice of Stoner Rock/Metal where Skyraker impresses on every level.

Words by Steve Howe


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