Review: SkyTigers – Disasterbation

Blenders on Fire

To take equal parts punk and thrash, toss it in a blender, light it on fire, and be able to say “Here’s our next release” is one thing. To pour that into a cup, give it to someone, have them drink it, and have them say “Another cup please?” is nothing short of a triumph.

As the listener swishes Disasterbation around their mouth – that’s not spice, but still-burning embers – the three years of effort and patience will taste like sweet, decades-old oak barrels. SkyTigers has brought the best elements of high-energy punk, the exacting harmonic acrobatics of thrash, and classic throbbing riffs built from a clear and sober understanding of rock into the blender, and into your ears.

While it’s no mystery that women can thrash just as well as the best metal guitarists, Rochelle Ferguson’s playing is refreshing in a scene dominated mostly by indie players and folk heroines. Her skill in blending chugging chordal riffs with harmonic overlays crafted with surgical precision bring Disasterbation’s most exciting moments truly transcendent.

This album is extremely balanced, which allows for Ripper Maloney’s crushing drum delivery, Brian Christopher’s Rickenbacker bass riffs, and Johnny El Camino’s guitar create a fullness of sound that – in my personal opinion – is equally displayed live and on this release.

The standout track on this album is “Nobody Puts Baby In a Dumpster (Stillborn in the USA)”, not only for the ripping solo and seamless time signature transitions, but for just how perfectly the choral refrain when Brian Christopher belts out “Stillborn in the USA!” After two listens, I still felt searing chills as the album seemed to come to a roaring head at this moment, and it felt completely fresh each time.

For fans of Anthrax, Megadeth, and other trash-metal heroes, Disasterbation will be a welcome addition to any collection. For punk enthusiasts, the raw energy that bursts through the seems will be exhilarating. For everyone else, I say this release is an incredible introduction to the blending of these two sentiments, for which I’m speaking from personal experience.

Why did this release take three years? Well, SkyTiger’s bandcamp answers that in just the same tongue-and-cheek style that pervades much of their music:

“SkyTigers recorded this ep over the course of three years, not because it is a rock and roll masterpiece, but because we cannot sit still for more than five minutes without getting distracted.”

It’s important to note that fans of Motorhead will also love this release. Not only are the same driving, proto-metal elements rife throughout, but if you’ve seen SkyTigers live you will have undoubtedly enjoyed their cover of “Ace of Spades.” That cover ends this EP in the best way possible – it tells the listener “This music has built us.” A proper tribute from a band that has found their own space in similar styles.

by Al Gentile