Sky Larkin - The Golden Spike

Neil Watts 20/01/2009

Rating: 4.5/5

It might be a little too early to start thinking about the end of year polls just as the tips for the year ahead are fresh off the press. But despite the fact that we are barely two weeks into 2009 it is already obvious that Sky Larkin's debut will be sitting pretty in the upper echelons of the majority of those polls. The Golden Spike sees the Leeds three-piece indulging in a spot of Britpop revisionism, but thankfully not in a way that sets your teeth on edge like, say, fellow Yorkshire types the Kaiser Chiefs.

All of the old favourites have been systematically stripped backed, re-glossed and polished to a near perfect finish. Those already familiar with the band will be especially pleased to see Molten, Somersault, One Of Two and Summit nicely dispersed throughout the album's thirty-six minutes. The Golden Spike was so long in coming it is easy to forget that they have such a collection of hits in waiting.

There are heaps of pleasing turns of phrases that firmly place Sky Larkin in the Johnny Foreigner school of artful indie. Singer Katie delivers some sinister lines in such a deceivingly sweet manner, her distinctive warbling being quite an unusual but welcome quirk. Like album closer Keep Sakes, where she tells a tale of cutting one of her nearest and dearest into pieces, keeping the larger bits in the boot of her car to make sure they're safe and sound.

Current single Beeline (which is being released as a limited edition watch... no, me neither) is typical of the energy that courses song-to-song through The Golden Spike. The metallic, mechanised riffs that ring out make for addictively pulsating clatter pop, and the drums that thud and crash all around act to complete the picture. On this evidence it would be very surprising if they didn't follow Los Campesinos! down the credible route to becoming a much bigger deal.

Release date: 09/02/09