Coming screaming out of Sydney, three piece Skinpin have unleashed their debut album Shifting Sands upon the world. Kicking off with the stomping one two punch of “Miracle” and “You Don’t Mean”, this is straight up, no bullshit, sing, dance and drink-type rock (with a nice punk influence) at its finest.

Skinpin have described themselves as a reaction against ‘passive music and DJ wankers’. They definitely live up to that belief and mantra.The band recall the best of the late 1980s/early 1990s Australian punk/pop bands such as The Cosmic Psychos, Spiderbait, Bodyjar, The Hard-Ons and Bored! This type of straight ahead variety of rock has been sorely lacking on the local musical landscape over the past few years. The three piece have a beautiful groove and lock on a musical level. One can almost picture the mosh pit in front of them and smell the sweat just by listening to this great release.

Track highlights include “Horses Don’t Do Rawk”, with some screaming guitar work on it, “Crawl” and it’s totally menacing, fuck off bass line. This album really captures that filthy, down and dirty sound Skinpin have beautifully. They have a great ability to not overdo what they do musically. Most tracks on this release clock in at around three minutes. A classic lesson taught to us by bands from The Ramones on down: sometimes less is more.

“Cloud” is a great showcase for the band’s more melodic and pop personality to come through. However, they are at their best when thrashing out their music, such as on the rowdy as all hell “Howl”. If one was that way inclined, this would be a great album to chuck on late and annoy the neighbours with.

The music of Skinpin definitely isn’t going to change the world as we know it. However, Shifting Sands is a highly enjoyable listen and above all fun, bringing back that great power pop/punk sound illustrative of Australia some years ago. It’s definitely a welcome return.

– Neil Evans