Matt Skiba And The Sekrets - Babylon
Released May 07, 2012 via Superball | Rating: 4/5 | By Miles Hackett
Not content with currently having one side-project – the Hell with Angels And Airwaves drummer Atom Willard – Matt Skiba has assembled an incredibly esteemed cast for this project, the Sekrets. Boasting AFI's Hunter Burgan and current My Chemical Romance drummer Jarrod Alexander in the ranks, on paper this looks extremely tasty and you know what? It is. Skiba's presence is undeniable as always, as he lovingly combines his guitar-led punk ethos with his love for electronica without letting it smother his signature soaring melodies. It's not the 'Trio but it's no Heavens either. For those of you who picked up his 'Demos' album from 2009 some of the tracks here will be familiar - 'Angel Of Deaf' and 'How The Hell Did We Get Here?' being two – but these versions have been fleshed out and given meat to the demos' electronic, home recorded bones. It's obvious that Skiba yearns to experiment outside of the confines of Alkaline Trio and, although it's odd at first to hear the harmonies not being contributed by his long-term colleague Dan Andriano, this adds identity to the songs. Fans of the 'Trio will love this and 'Babylon' is a lovingly crafted album which, while not being a radical departure from his day job, stands up on its own merits and the nuance of his electronic influence compliments the guitar licks perfectly. Skiba is a prolific songwriter who rarely misses the mark and 'Babylon' is another testament to his ability.