Skank Attack: Here On Out (Skank)

Skank ttack: Limbs Akimbo
Skank Attack: Here On Out (Skank)

In theory something from this bold, wide and loud album could have appeared in our daily From the Vaults column, because these tracks date back to 1988 when this three-piece were -- by all accounts -- cutting a swathe through Wellington.

That I cannot vouch for, but I can say if the band's name might suggest an alignment with the current reggae/dub scene in New Zealand's capital, nothing could be further from the truth.

This music -- originally produced by Nick Roughan who has done the mixing on these recently rediscovered masters -- is all forward energy, booming basslines, desperate vocals and widescreen melodies propelled by terrific guitar work.

You don't have to have listened for long to conjure up a Teardrop Explodes or Echo and the Bunnymen from Wellington, but with a more socio-political agenda. Bass lines of Joy Division breadth and intensity too.

There's a real "Us Vs Them" attitude here which is driven home by the sheer firepower on display. Dark but melodic is how they describe it, and that's exactly right.

Hard to believe this was around in the capital at the same time as the Holidaymakers whose rather insipid but populist pop scooped the music awards.

Fittingly, Skank Attack supported Hunters and Collectors . . . but then broke up although they also recorded the never-released album with Roughan (from the Skeptics) in Writhe studio co-owned by the Skeptics and Bailterspace.

Think of them along those various axes and you've got them.

Bold, assertive and back. Rightly so too, I reckon.

Digital download available through Amplifier here.

Your Comments

John H - Apr 27, 2012

I was a fan of Skank Attack during my teenage years and saw them play at various Wellington venues c1985 - 86. Doormen seemed to be much more tolerant of allowing under age [i.e. <20] customers into pub gigs compared to public bars. Saw some great gigs at the old Cricketers and the Railway Union Hall and still have their 12'" EP at home somewhere.

Ken - May 11, 2012

Excellent news. I videotaped various music from Radio With Pictures in the 80s and Limbs Akimbo is among my collection. However I knew nothing about Skank Attack and have been curious about them for two decades. With such strong raw post-Punk music, they should have been on Flying Nun.

Skank Attack - Jan 13, 2013

Hi Ken and John H. There is a lot more info on our website - www.skankattack.com

post a comment

More from this section

Elvis Costello and the Imposters: The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook (Universal)

Elvis Costello and the Imposters: The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook (Universal)

Some albums you really just have to see, and this is one of those. Some background: Elvis Costello and the Imposters took to the road in the US last year with a few dozen of his song on a... > Read more

Willis Earl Beal: Acousmatic Sorcery (XL)

Willis Earl Beal: Acousmatic Sorcery (XL)

Beal's story is as interesting as this often engrossing debut album. In 2007 at age 23 after being discharged from the US army, he went and lived in the New Mexico desert while suffering from... > Read more

New Elsewhere

HENRY WAGONS INTERVIEWED (2104): The write stuff

HENRY WAGONS INTERVIEWED (2104): The write stuff

Even in a country with a long lineage of great songwriters, Henry Wagons stands out. As the writer and frontman for his band Wagons, Henry from Melbourne – born Henry Krips and the... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Mahoney Harris

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Mahoney Harris

Waiheke-based singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris is well known to many in the New Zealand music industry (as someone who takes care of licensing, promotion and such through her Aeroplane Music... > Read more