Glam Skanks – ‘Glitter City’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Monday, 24 April 2017 04:30

Glam SkanksMy appreciation of this album has likely already been made apparent with multiple posting of their videos. If I redid my top albums of 2016, this would now edge out the Butch Walker record for the top spot. It has ingrained itself in me, like very few albums do. The first thing I noticed was the album cover in the new release section on iTunes eight months ago, and I immediately went to preview it. 



The band had released three previous singles and B-sides before releasing this debut full-length album. None of those tracks are duplicated on this album. 



The record starts with an immediate call to arms with ‘G.L.A.M.’ It harkens back to the 70's glam rock but with a passionate sense of urgency. The expectation is that you should already be singing along. I think of it as a healthy confident swagger. Where KISS would say ‘you wanted the best, you got the best,’ the Glam Skanks don't need to say the words to prove their point.  Veronica Witkin also wastes no time in letting the listener know that that she is a master on the guitar as her work lays out one cool riff after another under the verses and applies a crunch to the chorus. ‘Teenage Drag Queen’ continues the momentum as a straight ahead rocker whose hook will remain with you long after the record is done. The title track settles into a grinding groove and killer chorus.  Ali Cat positively shines on this song as she does throughout the album. She appears born to be a star who is a complete natural singing and, based on the videos and live clips online, a master of the stage. This never comes across as arrogance though; she just appears to be a natural. 

 

 

The band changes tactics with ‘Tube Tops’ which uses something akin to spoken vocals. It stands out from the first three songs and provides variety while always being apparent that it is the same band. Millie lays down a cool bass pattern and plays a prominent role throughout. Veronica continues to provide awesome guitar work and what started as an album track as opposed to a possible single becomes a song that would be very welcome in live settings. Ali sings more and more forcefully as the song builds throughout its nearly three minutes. 



Of course, there had to be a ‘ballad’ on the album to garner all those radio plays.... except they take their 50s semi-ballad, speed it up, apply some 60s era backing vocals, and call it ‘Fuck Off.’ The band kills on this track with Ali showcasing another side of her vocals. It is not a stretch to say I think she is my favorite front person of a band today. This concludes side one of the album. 



Side two opens with what has been a total grower of a song - ‘Karma’. It was something of an oddball the first few times through the album, but its slow heavy blues soon shows that it is going to be a mainstay in the set for the next 20 years. Ali applies a slightly deeper register in parts and let's Millie and Jaxine crush the groove. Veronica also applies some very subtle licks throughout the song, highlighting her guitar prowess. This is also the epic of the album as it clocks in at 5:35. 



The band then heads for the home stretch with current single ‘Bad Bitch’ showcasing a swift hook in the chorus while empowering the power of women. This is the Glam Skanks' world, and they know it. ‘Radio Blues’ begins with Ali singing over Veronica's slow blues riff before exploding into a throwback hard rocking blues number which you have heard many times before, except this time there is blood coming through the amps and glitter being shook loose from the ceiling. I see this as a fun song that will be in and out of the setlist through the years. 

 



‘I Want It Now’ begins with a cool guitar riff before Ali sings with a slightly softer voice and a cool rhythm to the vocal pattern. There is no reason this should not be all over the radio with the awesome background vocals applied underneath the frame of the song. Bruce Witkin and Ryan Dorn did an incredible job of producing and mixing not just this song but this entire album. Every instrument is heard with the mix also allowing each musician to be extra highlighted in certain areas. The production is not glossy or coated in studio tricks, but it is also very obvious that the Skanks worked very hard in the studio to deliver a debut that will stand the rest of time. 



The album concludes with the snotty ‘Blow Me.’ It is a hard rocker that allows the album to kick you in the butt on the way out the door. There is nothing subtle about it. While it will be a song that will probably fade from the setlist in a few albums time, it will be welcomed back into the playlists when they decide to bust it out in the future. 



If this was 20-30 years ago, the Glam Skanks would be on magazine covers and creating a buzz that would be permeating the mainstream, if not owning it, eight months after this album's release. Sadly, today it runs the risk of not being able to find any real coverage as music tries to recapture its prominence in the popular culture. This band has all the intangibles to rule the world; I look forward to seeing how their career unfolds and predict great things in their future.

 

‘Glitter City’ is out now. You can get you copy HERE.

 

Glam Skanks tour the UK during May and June.

 

www.facebook.com/Glamskanx/

 

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