Skaters - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Fri 30 Aug 2013
Uninspired shtick comes over as secondhand Strokes, Vaccines, Ramones, Blondie ...
Don’t be confusing these New Yorkers with James Ferraro and Spencer Clark’s experimental noise project namesake. Nor actual skaters, seeing as they don’t own a board between them. Frontman Michael Ian Cummings picked the moniker because it conjured for him a certain essence of misspent youth.
So far, so more-Brooklyn-hipsters-with-a-retro-fascination. But it’s the trashy Manhattan underbelly from which Skaters draw inspiration, which could spell a suitably sleazy antidote to your typical Williamsburg indie territorial pissings, were the quintet – among whose ranks is former Paddingtons and Dirty Pretty Things ex-pat Brit guitarist Joshua Hubbard – not so woefully generic. New ground can sleep soundly tonight knowing it won’t be broken by these scruffy young dudes in baseball caps, ripped jeans and parkas, who sound awfully like too many of their snotty Big Apple punk and new wave forbears, from The Ramones and Blondie to The Strokes.
‘I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)’ has the dubious distinction of resembling the secondhand Strokes, The Vaccines. The much more creditable ‘Armed’ is a kind of Clash-style dubby punk thing, with an electronic drum beat and scratchy guitar line, but it proves atypical in an otherwise sound-alike set culminating with a head-scratching cover of Supergrass’s ‘Caught By The Fuzz’ – an encore no more demanded by the audience than the ever-oversubscribed indie middle-ground craves Skaters’ uninspired shtick.