Describing themselves as an “ongoing musical project”, Dubs Modern Skins certainly have that lived-in feel about them, so much so that you wonder why it’s taken this long for the quartet to get around to releasing a debut LP. Don’t let the name confuse you, by the way; this is unreconstructed swagger, equal parts dirt and shine and lubricated with the grease of rock’s yesteryear. You can almost hear the hiss beer cans being opened in the background.
‘Times are Gonna Get Hard’ is a fine four minutes of precise and punchy goodtime bar rock, while opener ‘Listen To Music’ is a paid-up member of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. ‘Punch Above Your Weight’ exposes some fine guitar interplay over a boozy mid-tempo lurch, and ‘Workin’ For The Man’ is smooth and earnest but, like in a few areas of Push Buttons, it underperforms lyrically, which is a shame.
Recorded live here (a gutsy move), Modern Skins sound tight and low-slung with their respective instrumentation, but Ross McKiernan’s lachrymose vocals could have done with a bit of beefing up in the mix, you suspect. A valiant start by the group then, and provided the “ongoing” bit remains in the description, Modern Skins’ finest plumage will be revealed thus.