Boy Bitten by Lizard
Returning from something of an unofficial hiatus, Dublin’s premier bockety-pop supergroup is back in business. Following the departure of oddball crooner extraordinaire, Paddy Hanna, this who’s who of domestic indie stalwarts have further bolstered their ranks with the addition of No Monster Club’s (Sir) Bobby (Jukebox) Aherne and Ruan Van Vliet of Squarehead. Whether it can be chalked up to the new blood or otherwise, the quintet sound nothing if not energised on this, their most immediately arresting and deftly constructed collection to date.
The shambling, grab-bag, energy that defined their first two records has always been one of the great pleasures of Skelocrats as an endeavour. So, to praise Boy Bitten by Lizard for its focus can’t help feel a little off. Yet, this newfound clarity in vision and sharpness in presentation never reads as compromise, or worse, the sanding down of rough edges at the expense of character.
In essence, despite the presence of titles like We Drink Our Own Piss, the chaos has been dialled down in favour of a sweeter shade of sophistication. This twist is pointedly evidenced in closer Sweet Talk; itself an unassumingly anthemic wonder reminiscent of Pulp at their most potent, or in the taut to the point of spring loaded, pure pop pleasures of the tracks that front and centre the belted vocals of Bronwyn Murphy White.
Words: Danny Wilson