Some people see the recorded output of a band as a calling card for their live show, others as a historical document of a time and a place in their career path, a bankable commodity or maybe just a way of capturing a great collection of songs to play at home. Whatever your outlook on the finished product you can bet that an age-old battle has been waged to produce it. It is the battle to, on the one hand embrace the benefits of the studio to enhance the sound, on the other to capture the best representation of the bands live performance. Who Are You? the long awaited e.p. from SkyBurnsRed is proof that it is a battle that can be won.
Right from the off you can hear the value of Ben Turner’s production and as great as their previous record, Madness and Reason, was, here there is a more expansive quality that really captures the essence of the live experience.
The guitars are raw and more aggressive, the bass more driven and brooding, violin more sweeping and majestic and the drums more anthemic. The band have managed to take their sound and push it outwards in all directions. It is bigger, deeper, and more energetic and has better separation of component sounds, leaving enough room for front man Jason’s smooth, slightly whiskey- cracked, voice to really stand out.
Possibly one of the reasons that this set of songs lands better formed is that they have been honed down at the live shows before being committed to the studio process. The result, rather than having the rough edges knocked off, they have managed to maintain the raw musical visceral that informs their live shows. It’s grunge with a classical sweep, alternative rock for the 21st century, it’s aggressive, raw and emotive, dark, elegant and sensuous, it’s the sound of SkyBurnsRed becoming the band that they have always been destined to become.