Sky Larkin - Antibodies
Alex Cocks 27/04/2009
Leeds three piece Sky Larkin's sound is somewhat hard to position. They possess elements of twee revivalism, and given their links to Los Campesinos! amongst others it would be a reasonable conclusion to situate them in this tradition that is recently becoming a growing concern, but they harbour a more muscular edge and have certainly heard a few Sleater-Kinney records in their time. These alt-rock stylings are married to a more accessible and identifiable 'pop' structure, although this perception may be constructed through having a female vocalist. Certainly Sky Larkin's edges are smoothed by Katie Harkin's silken vocals.
Commencing with a bluesy, Pavement-esque guitar figure, before being dissected by an ascending chord structure, 'Antibodies' is an energetic and enervating release. Harkin's guitar playing and the combination of rhythm section Doug Adams and Nestor Matthews create a tight framework around which the song is structured.
Parent album The Golden Spike was an album about commemoration of places, situations, emotions. “Antibodies” is a song about long distance love (their very own “500 Miles” apparently), with it's refrain of 'Sentiments stretched over sediment and soil' evoking the melancholy of yearning. It is a song of elliptical repetition, and repeated listens reveal its craft and charm.
Their influences are all worthy wells to draw from, and these are skilfully balanced by the band. Sometimes a song well played and written will hit the mark, no matter how derivative it is. Within the boundaries of genre you can find moments of great invention. Producer John Goodmanson has completed an admirable job in evoking the sound of varied alt-rock outfits, and in common with these retrograde ambitions the single is to be released as a C60 cassette. But here lies the crux; the band have crafted a well conceived and poised set of songs on their album, and it works well as a coherent body of work. But isolate any of the songs and it becomes apparent that they lack the relevant dynamics to catapult them from cult concern to genuine contenders. Yet.
Release date: 11/05/09