Another Sky – ‘Psychopath’ and ‘Watching Basinski’ – Anger, solitude and a surprising alt-rock spin.
It’s been three years since Another Sky released their debut album ‘I Slept On The Floor’ and it blew me away when I first heard it. Their initial effort captured a unique and textured sound, a sound I imagined and hoped they would converge and expand.
And it’s this sound that changes from track to track: inspiring guitar and bass work that transitions from soft and steady to loud and tribal technical drumming efforts, from melancholy, echo-washed soundscapes to expressive riffs and melodies, to Catrin Vincent’s captivating vocal deliveries. It’s a diverse yet cohesive album that puts them in a band of their own. ‘Avalanche’, ‘The Cracks’, ‘All Ends’ and ‘How Long?’ listen to their songs. for this undeniable proof of concept.
So far, the lead single “Psychopath” and the b-side “Watching Basinski” come out, and what you’re hearing is exactly their preservation of sound, everything that sets Another Sky apart from other bands, through an anxious under-rock prism. Written in the shadow of a Covid 19 lockdown and inspired by late ’90s/early 2000s alt rock, both tracks morph from the band’s debut sound into something furious in the lead single and b-side loneliness. It doesn’t capture the anger and loneliness of the Covid 19 era in any small way.
First there is the ‘Psychopath’. In one word: I never thought Another Sky would give me a nod, but here I am, a good and real nod. A flawed intro sound leads to the nasty, exaggerated 5/4 bass riff you’ll have for most of the track. Catrin’s vocals soon enter venomously and furiously against those in the seats of power and authority, against incompetent leaders. The broken guitar pierces through, mimicking the bass riff, and the drums rise throughout the line. Then the chorus explodes at you. Riff stays, turning to 11, the drums ringing loudly around him, and Catrin wails for the song’s namesake.
It would be an understatement to say that this song is a surprising departure from Another Sky’s debut sound. The hazy, exuberant melancholy of their debut album is over. What you’ve got right now is a fiery alt-rock tune with a voice that’s always distinctly their own, reaching broadly into the grunge realms. If you like a Soundgarden or Psychadelic Porn Crumpets riff, you’ll love this.
After repeating ‘Psychopath’ for several hours, ‘Watching Basinski’ surprised me. He stands absolutely and deliberately opposite the lead single.
A solo track that begins with haunting vocals and melancholy guitar. The vocals are on full display here, and Catrin talks about the dark stuff. He contemplates the Twin Towers and the pain of jumpers or the unconsciousness they might otherwise fall into, Basinski selling goods in a church, likening it to a religious enterprise, grieving over the success of an anonymous person. Being jealous of someone else’s ability to feel. The list goes on. As the song progresses, an electric guitar enters, with violin-like loudness and distant percussion rumblings in the background. A beautiful, undeniably tragic song.
Both tracks mark the two sides of Another Sky’s shifting sound. While they both fit well and truly in that alt-rock vein (despite all the welcome parts of Another Sky that make them unique), there’s something here that’s clearly approaching an angry/lonely dichotomy. And it’s something to be very careful about. A band with a unique and growing sound, and these two tracks solidly prove it.
by words Harry Meenagh