LYRICS


"To call The Sketties’ first full-length CD, Up?!? Yes!! a three-ring circus would not be too far off the mark. Named after toddler slang for a pasta dish, the Lancaster-based quintet introduces a , alternative rock-geared sound that often suggests a circus or carnival atmosphere over the disc’s ten tracks. Guitarists/singers Jonnie Wechter and Ben Honey-Hartranft, keyboardist/singer Alissa Amer, drummer Jesse Ryan Porter and bassist Mo Morris blend elements of trippy Donovan/Lovin’ Spoonful ‘60s-styled psychedelia with quirky yet catchy melodies and dramatic, angular arrangements; resulting in an unpredictable cabaret that never stays in one place for long. The group’s lyrics are observational yet whimsical, loosely dealing with themes of insecurity, paranoia, emotional mysteries and more. The Sketties set the tone for their eclectic voyage with the punchy and trippy “Junior”; and vary the mood with the melancholy-flavored “Open Road” and “Get Out”; the acoustic and dreamy “Suspenders;” and darker-toned numbers like “Drakulya’s Curse,” “When the Lights Go Out” and “Dead End Road.” The group offers a faster, surf-like sound on “So Safe,” and a jumpy B-52’s-like vibe on “Be Gone.” Engineered and mixed by Dan Ricca, Up?!? Yes!! is constantly busy, with ever-changing arrangements, shifting instrumental tones, layers of vocals and choruses, erratic mood swings and more. Yet in spite of its vast eccentricities, most all of this flows together smoothly, and the group’s song hooks connect. The Sketties throw out the rulebook on Up?!? Yes!!, and their musical experimentation yields a refreshing, invigorating listen.  — Reviewed by Jim Price 


artwork for UP?!? YES!!! by CHRISTIAN HERR