Photo by Shane McCauley
NYC band SKATERS may be the next big thing, you just may not know it yet. The band possesses all the things you’d want from a modern New York band: the downtown cool of The Strokes, the nervous energy of early Vampire Weekend, and a punk spirit befitting the Big Apple’s rock ‘n’ roll heritage. The band’s been fêted by a whole host of musical cognoscenti from CMJ to Filter to Vice’s Noisey blog to the New York Observer’s Scene magazine who said SKATERS, “are poised to become punk rock gods.”
That’s some pretty hefty language there, but while a tad hyperbolic, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. SKATERS share common DNA with movement shifting groups like the aforementioned Strokes, or the U.K.’s long-gone Libertines, a band that harkened back to early British punk’s garage rock roots.
SKATERS’ roots go back not to New York, but to Los Angeles. In 2011 childhood friends Michael Ian Cummings and Noah Rubin decided to leave their band Dead Trees. Just before they were set to move to New York, they met guitarist Joshua Hubbard, the third leg in the SKATERS stool. Hubbard had played in the British groups The Paddingtons and Dirty Pretty Things (upping The Libertines connection–The Paddingtons toured with Pete Doherty’s Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things was led by Carl Barât). Also joining them are Dan Burke and Tommy Allen. SKATERS’ debut EP Schemers caught the attention of the folks over at major label Warner Brothers Records, and the imprint signed the band in February 2013. The following month the band upped their visibility even further with a strong showing at SXSW.
On February 25, SKATERS make their full-length debut with Manhattan. One of the first tracks to make it out into the world is “Miss Teen Massachusetts.” A punchy backbeat accentuates the brooding verses as the fuzzed-out guitars storm. But this tune has more up its sleeve. The choruses has an old-time pop feel with a hook made for singing along, and a laconic, 70s-toned guitar solo also adds a bit of sweetness to the dark ‘n’ bitter verses. That dose of pop hooks also adds a hint of familiarity. SKATERS are paying homage to pop and rock ‘n’ roll’s past as they forge ahead into its future as one of its next big bands.