Byron Bay surf-rock trio Skegss released their debut album My Own Mess on Friday, and it’s surprisingly good.
Given they’ve taken the Australian festival circuit by storm in the past year, it’s easy to think this album would be made up of festival friendly bangers and nothing more. But it’s so much more – while most tracks are short, catchy and sing-a-long ready, it’s still a well-polished album with some incredibly relatable lyrics.
‘Transaction Fee’ comes in at a quick 2min 33sec, but it’s one of the standout tracks on the album. It starts with a strong riff that wouldn’t be amiss on a mid-90s Green Day album, before jumping into the drum-heavy fuzz that Skegss is known for best. The lyrics revolve around a night out, including being hit with an ATM fee. “Cost me money for my own money/$2.50 for a one-hundy” is up there with one of the catchiest lines about being scammed by banks. The song rounds out with a guitar-laden outro, which compliments the anger we’ve all felt at being charged to access our own money. While most banks are starting to phase out the fees, Skegss have ensured they’ll be memorialised forever in song.
‘Margarita’ is a bit more hard hitting. It’s basically about getting way too drunk for your own good, and saying some stuff you probably shouldn’t. It’s an example of what Skegss excel at – songs that sound relatively harmless and catchy, that actually have great story-telling power. Chorus ending refrain “please excuse the booze” is oddly devastating.
It’s hard to pick a bad track from My Own Mess. All of them are less than 4 minutes long, which works well with this kind of music because it’s impossible for the band to lose track of the point. Listening to it as album, the 15 songs all run well into each other, and I found myself accidentally looping it on repeat multiple times before I realised I’d already heard it all the way through. Individually, the tracks each have their own story and will still go down well at their rowdy live shows. Overall, Skegss have produced a great album that will definitely sit well with their main fan base, and it’ll probably win them some new listeners too.