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On disc: Skum

Skumworks Vol. 2 & Promo 2010 - Carsten Bahr - 7 stars

Skumworks Vol. 2

Skumworks Vol. 2 & Promo 2010
(self-released - 2010)

The Cologne-based band Skum shows that Cologners have a skewed humor - not just during carnival. And so the guys celebrate their 11th anniversary with a 4-track CD Promo 2010 and a re-release of their 2008 released album Skumworks Vol.2. The 2008 release was recorded by a sextet while the promo features a new, shrunken line-up. Still in the band are sing Nikola Grigic and drummer Christoph Buchheim. At Skumworks Vol. 2 - Skumworks Vol 1 was released 2004 - they mix thrash metal with death metal, hardcore and some surprises. Vocally they offer growls, grunts, strange spoken word passages and some almost melodic parts. The lyrics are partly in English and partly in German, all in all it's quite a mix. Unfortunately Skum sometimes don't manage to combine the elements in a song supporting way. Once in awhile nothing seems to fit and leaves the listener puzzled. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against experiments, but one shouldn't push it too far. And the vocals can be annoying, especially the melodic parts and the spoken word passages. But they also offer some cool ideas and the groove will make you bang - at least sometimes. The cynical Panzer fahr'n and Hold In The Sky are the highlights of the 9 tracks. Others show potential, but the songwriting is a bit mazy. And that would only get 4 stars...
At Promo 2010 Skum they show progress, they developed their sound. The songs are heavier and the mix of styles is better balanced. And so the songs are more memorable. No strange experiments, but Skum still offers variety without losing their identity. The Croatian Napa isn't a smash hit, but sticks out with it's rock'n'roll feeling. Singer Nikola seems to be more self-confident now and sounds way better. I'm curious, if Skum can show more progress next time and if they can keep the level on a full-length album. At MySpace you can listen to all tracks of Promo 2010.

7 stars

Carsten Bahr
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


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