SKIRTBOX. Metro,London. 15.04.05

This is a party and people will cry if they want to.

The Metro basement is hosting the release party for Skirtbox's long delayed new album 'Bitter and Direct'. Having finally given up on finding a major labal home the band have chosen Allstar Recordings to showcase their evolution from skate punks to the poppiest of rockers.

Before all that there are some VIP party guests to meet 'n' greet.Mainline sound like Somerset. Mainline sound like The Cable Car Theory. Mainline sound like Thrice dipped in Jack Daniels by Malboro men. The Bombjacks are back and get feet moving with Weezer harmonies, surf guitars and Moog moments. Neither of these bands will escape London support slot status but both produce perfect alterna-party tunes.

Skirtbox must be sick of looking at the inside of the Metro and apart from a happy happy joy joy performance from bassist Tom Wright the band do look a little bored. Maybe it's because these new songs aren't new at all, The band have been playing 'Heading for the Start' and 'For This Alone' for nearly a year. That doesn't stop them from being head-nodding rock, all of which would fit perfectly on any drive-time compilation if all drive-time compilations weren't shit.

At times Will Stapleton's voice slips into horrible Ville Vallo territory but after the initial shock it works quite well. His smooth croon fitting over Top Gun rock and 80's guitar solos.

Skirtbox could be your new favourite band, Skirtbox could be the new Ataris. Skirtbox should be able to leave High Wycombe houses for LA mansions by the end of the year. Typically, the lack of record label support and cold, hard cash could be crippling but nowhere near as much as performing like workmen rather than rock stars.

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