All About: SkyBurnsRed

20130409-102915As well as the gig guide, my column in the Swindon Advertiser includes a little look at a local musical subject. This week was post-grungers SkyBurnsRed.

Once upon a time SkyBurnsRed were regular features on local gig guides and festival bills, but since last year have been very quiet indeed. Well, to us things have been quiet. I don’t think the same could be said for half of the band, who have been laying low due to the arrival of their new baby – I am sure there has been plenty of noise in their house in fact!  Congratulations to Jason and Laura on the new band member!

SkyBurnsRed have always been one of the more interesting bands in the last few years to have come out of Swindon. Their core sound is a heavy alternative rock that owes large debts of gratitude to the likes of Biffy Clyro, Muse and the grunge scene. But where they have scored big points is in having a full time violinist in the band, enabling them to add sonic depths and emotion to the big guitar sounds. Surprisingly, live was where this worked best, the violin cutting through the wall of sound with delicious little melodies. Successive EP’s had on reflection, failed to civilise the monstrous size of the bands sound, leaving things a little murky, fuzzy and indistinguishable.

I say on reflection as it turns out in the run up to their maternity leave from the scene the band have been in a studio laying down new tracks with producer Dug Wolfsohn. These recordings have given me a new appreciation of skill and art of these musicians, and the layers they put into songs.  Vocals are clearer and distinguishable (leading to the understanding of the lyrical stories), the riffs are sharper, more vicious and the violin work now sounds epic, layered up to add melody, emotion and really drive some of the songs. There are backing vocals and neat little tricks that give much of the material a surprisingly poppy feel too.  This debut full album – Machines – will be out soon, and has been well worth the wait. And there is more good news as it look like the band are returning to the live stages of festivals and venues in the area in the summer – can’t wait!

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