"AutoExciter" (Blimp Records/Lovemuffin Records; 2009)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Skychief pile it on pretty thick on "AutoExciter" ... but that's a good thing. These Akron, Ohio rockers deliver a 13-track slab of steamroller punk here with slamming guitar rhythms that crash through just about anything. Imagine the Ramones with down-tuned guitars and it'll give you kind of an idea. The riffs are fatter this time, and grimier. The placement of blistering solos here and there (something the Ramones rarely did) only enhances the already driving force.

On most CDs, production as raw as on "AutoExciter" would diminish the overall effect. Here, however, it's a bit of a plus, muddying the waters just enough to give each track just a little more rough edge.

Unlike the band's "Me Rock You So Hard," "AutoExciter" doesn't come to a creeping halt when the slower songs come along. Maybe the songs aren't as leaden as before or maybe Skychief has learned to keep things interesting. Regardless, "AutoExciter" never bores throughout its entire running time.

One thing is certain: This stuff would rock hard in a live setting. If you're lucky enough to live near a venue where this band is playing, don't miss it!

Skychief: Taffi - guitar and vocals; Disco Steve - Guitar and Vocals; Ric Nimrod - Bass; Smitty - drums.

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"Me Rock You So Hard" (Blimp Records; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Skychief's "Me Rock You So Hard" sounds like the spawn of Devo and the Sex Pistols with a little dash of the Knack thrown in to even things out. That kind of combination takes real energy to pull off and, thankfully, Skychief have plenty of that to go around. 

Not nearly as snotty as the Sex Pistols and yet not quite as bizarrely sterile as a lot of Devo's material, "Me Rock You So Hard," while perhaps not living up to its title, is lively and unique enough to warrant a solid listen. 

The band is at their best when they're rocking the hardest. The under two-minute "Runaway" plays like a great Dead Boys tune and "Blamed It on You" has driving energy. Songs like the slower "Next Year's New Year's Eve" tend to get dull rather fast.

My rating of this CD has wavered from two-and-a-half guitarsaws to three but the brief but well-placed solos and the faster paced songs have pushed "Me Rock You So Hard" into three guitarsaws territory.  

Skychief: Taffi - guitar and vocals; Disco Steve - Guitar and Vocals; Jon B. - Bass; Smitty - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:21 -0400.