Matt Skiba is very busy these days. He’s fronted Alkaline Trio for close to two decades and also dabbled in side projects like Heavens and The Hell. In case you didn’t know, he’s also currently filling in for Tom Delonge in Blink 182.
And because apparently the devil makes good use of idle hands Skiba just released KUTS (Superball Music) with The Sekrets. The Sekrets almost being a supergroup for the Alternative Press crowd as it also features AFI bassist Huntar Burgan and My Chemical Romance’s Jarrod Alexander on drums.
Are you still with me? Good, because if you are a fan of any of those aforementioned groups then you are in for a pleasant surprise with KUTS.
The formula here hasn’t drastically changed. It’s simple, yet effective songwriting mated to a bright, but not overbearing mix. And that’s not to say that 2012s Babylon or Haven’t You EP weren’t good, but The Sekrets are starting to stretch their sound a little more as opposed to sticking with traditional pop-punk compositions. While there still are bits pf punk fire from time to time like on opener ‘Lonely and Kold’ and ‘She Said’ it seems that Skiba and his cohorts have been revisiting their The Smiths, The Cure, and Echo & The Bunnymen LPs.
This more post-punk approach really sets in on the second half of KUTS. Songs like ‘Way Bakk When’ and ‘Hemophiliak’ shift The Sekrets’ emphasis to melancholy as opposed to two minutes of aggression. ‘Never Believe’ and ‘Vienna’ close out the album and finds Skiba further channeling Johnny Marr with simple but haunting music to compliment his almost world-weary vocals.
Skiba finds a way to honor some of his musical heroes without it coming across as just a love letter to the late 70s and early 80s. But then again the man has time for what seems like 400 other musical projects. Not sure how he does it, but hopefully he won’t stop soon.