Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Forgotten Gems: Skew Siskin-Skew Siskin

Giant 1992

I hate to admit to this people but I had this in my collection for years without every listening to it. If my memory serves me correct this gem of hard rock goodness was a bargain bin pick up. The album art wasn't a selling point for me at all. I had seen it sitting there for a few weeks at my local Mom & Pop record store collecting dust and had never thought about buying it. I only got it after the store owner gave me a deal on a whole stack of CDs and threw it in for free. It wouldn't be until several years later that I dug it out of storage and gave it a listen. I was looking to unload a ton of music and thought I should really give it a listen to see how bad it was. Man, was this ever a shocker! In the same way that great album art hid some truly awful heavy metal acts (especially in the 1980s) this horrid piece of album art hid some great hard rock. Yes, Skew Siskin did get a few listens in the 90s thanks to "If The Wall Could Talk" (a minor MTV hit) but otherwise I never knew of anyone who had heard this album. Fronted by the gritty sounding Nina C. Alice (who incidentally still has one set of lungs on her after all these years) Skew Siskin are a German hard rock/heavy metal band who are musically in the vein of AC/DC. Featuring the mad guitar skills of Jim Voxx (his solo work in the 12 minute track "In Another World" reminds of Jimi Hendrix at times) Skew Siskin is still kicking up dirt all these years later. They are a favorite of Lemmy from Motorhead (Skew does draw comparisons to Motorhead when they really get going) and often tour with his group in Europe. On this debut they go from heavy rockers like "Out Of Control" to the Heart sounding "I Gotta Go Away". "Sniffin' The Dirt" is sleeze rock through and through. "Thank You For The Time" and "Cheap Trick" offer up catchy hard rock while "Shake Down And Roll" has a bluesy twang running through it. The group even offers up a heavy metal version of the Kinks classic " All Day & All Of The Night" which is pretty good. As I said the band is still going and has gotten better with each release (which isn't easy to do in this day and age). Skew Siskin the album though is a good place to start if your new to the group. It can be readily found online at sites like Amazon(really cheap if you don't mind used copies). Don't let the hideous cover fool you as to the tasty treat that awaits you once you put this disc on.


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