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Skylights – Enemies

It’s been a while since I have reviewed anything from Skylights – a York based indie-rock rock quartet who brought a profusion of steady guitar riffs, piercing tongue-in-cheek vocals and memorable rhythms in one of their previous singles, YRA. So, before I initially listened to Enemies, I prepped myself to hear a Britpop-laden tune, featuring a plethora of witty lyrics and indie guitar licks. However, it’s clear that they’re dipping their toes into other influences, and delving into slightly more experimental arenas. That’s what we like to hear. 

This track is effectively a merging of post-punk rock with a hint of the (characteristically) Skylights Britpop. It’s clear that they fucking love Oasis; that’s for sure. This is most prominent when you take into account the soaring, almost Gothic guitar twangs and hardy vocals; it’s absolutely littered with soaring lyrics and equally roaring riffs. Noticeably more punkish than their previous stuff, it is nonetheless a refreshing surprise. 

The intro to the track begins with a simple little riff, before plunging into a drum fueled journey, that is maximised through Scarisbrick’s sturdy vocals and reaches a climax as the strings are plucked faster, and the sticks hit harder. Under the steadfast surface of the track, is a bass line which simply put, is the embodiment of a Britpop blow up, if there ever was one.

It’s definitely reminiscent of the late nineties/early noughties, owing to its quirky little groove and a juxtaposing rock and roll, yet nostalgic nature… But despite this, they’re positively exploring new arenas; and this, they should be applauded for. Drawing in bits and pieces different genres, whilst chopping and changing certain parts of their own style is prominent in this track, and it was probably a risk. However, they pull it off undoubtedly and this is commendable.

It’s a track which you could head bang or head bob to; but no matter what you choose, it certainly will fail be neither. It’s infectious.

Breaking out school because we were high, the gritty vocals pour through; repeatedly and raucously. There’s no slowing down. It’s an odd mix of feelings which spring to mind when listening. On one hand, it’s reminiscent of being back in school; rebelling with your mates, not giving a single shit about the consequences and thus, the ‘enemies’ that come from this. And then, laughing at the utter unimportance if it all, later on in life.

This part is humorous. But then, on the other side, you’ve got the tenderly nostalgic part of it. Dream those dreams, don’t let them go, Scarisbrick urges on, providing a strangely emotive feel to an otherwise gravelly Britpop time. It’s an enjoyably contrasting mix subtle, endearing nostalgia and a rockier surface. And, it works.

In regards to the meaning of the track, frontman Rob Scarisbrick has said that it’s essentially about “sticking the finger to doubters and naysayers,” as well as being an encouragement to “dream your dreams and don’t let anybody stop you.“ 

It’s safe to say that nobody is stopping them, and thankfully so.

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