Matt Skiba and the Sekrets
Babylon


2.0
poor

Review

by sharksanddanger USER (7 Reviews)
May 8th, 2012 | 18 replies | 3,441 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dead Dove. Do Not Eat.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

My biggest pet peeve is when an artist’s solo side project could fit right into the band they’re currently in. I don’t see any creative reasons for why an artist would start a completely new project just to continue in the same vein they have been in. Notice I said ‘creative reasons’, leaving out financial motivations, because in my make-believe world, money by itself is not a justifiable end goal for artistic endeavors. That said, I’ll try to take Babylon and evaluate it for itself. Heavy emphasis on try.

On Babylon, Matt Skiba continues on the same path he set on with his 2010 release Demos, which I can only assume is an outlet for rejected Alkaline Trio songs (I said I’d try). Backing him up as “the Sekrets” are Hunter Burgan of AFI fame on bass and current touring drummer for My Chemical Romance, Jarrod Alexander, behind the kit. I have a bit of a hard-on for Burgan’s bass playing with AFI, so I enjoyed some of his parts, particularly on opening track Voices.

The album basically consists of eight bouncy pop-punk songs and one acoustic ballad ending track. I have to give credit where credit is due; Skiba is amazing at writing catchy pop-punk songs that will no doubt have many pop-punk teenyboppers chanting along with him. However, the songs are heavily weighed down by taking what should be stripped down pop-punk songs and adding kitschy effects and synth. A track like Olivia would have been much stronger without the processed vocals and heavy reverb. Skiba should have limited the instrumentation to strictly guitar, bass, and drums, because either the added bits add nothing to the song (Voices, You) or heavily hurt the track (Haven’t You, Falling Like Rain, the latter of which sounds like a mashup between Alkaline Trio and the Eurythmics).

The lyrics are not even deserving of their own paragraph. They mostly (read as all) deal with love and a feeling that no one understands you while doing their best to remain easy enough to remember, even for those who’ve only heard them in passing. I’m not surprised by them, but I’m not too disappointed with them. They fulfill their purpose quite well, even if the purpose is a banal one.

At the end of it all, I feel like Jason Batemen in the famous Arrested Development scene wherein he opens the bag in his fridge marked “Dead Dove. Do Not Eat.” and remarks “Well, I don’t know what I was expecting.” Because I shouldn’t have been surprised by Skiba’s attempt to take the sound Alkaline Trio are famous for and water it down with pop sensibilities for mainstream consummation. However, Babylon is too underground to be played on the radio and too tainted by corny pop flourishes to obtain any sort of underground support. It will likely exist in the limbo between both worlds, being heavily uploaded to the Facebook pages of fourteen year old girls. Hardcore Alkaline Trio fans might also enjoy these tracks as filler until the next Alkaline Trio album. Matt Skiba, please do us all a favor and just release these as B-Sides to Alkaline Trio songs instead of filling a whole album with them. At least, throw the synth out the window; there are actually some catchy songs on here, if only they weren’t drowning.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
May 8th 2012



9537 Comments


The wording/tone you used here is interesting.

sharksanddanger
May 8th 2012



18 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

How so?

Acanthus
May 8th 2012



9537 Comments


It's quite conversational and very opinionated about the direction tracks should have taken; it was a fun read.

sharksanddanger
May 8th 2012



18 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks, I just tried to present it the same way I would if a friend asked me what I thought of it.

blastOFFitsPARTYtime
May 8th 2012



1477 Comments


Yea, nice easy read. Have never really thought Skiba was all that classy, so not surprising that his solo stuff would be meh.

sharksanddanger
May 8th 2012



18 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I forgot to add that Angel of Deaf is probably the WORST track title I've ever heard.

dimsim3478
May 8th 2012



4889 Comments


At the moment, Dan > Matt

Digging: Microwave - Stovall

blastOFFitsPARTYtime
May 8th 2012



1477 Comments


^Definitely.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2012



28460 Comments


decent review, man.

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

dimsim3478
May 8th 2012



4889 Comments


I shouldn’t have been surprised by Skiba’s attempt to take the sound Alkaline Trio are famous for and water it down with pop sensibilities for mainstream consummation.

"Consumption"?

Willie
Moderator
May 8th 2012



15911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The first paragraph should just be deleted because you've set the reader up to believe that the whole review is going to be biased due to your admitted pet-peeve.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

sharksanddanger
May 8th 2012



18 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Oops, yeah. I meant consumption. That's embarrassing. I'm in South America visiting relatives and I've been speaking all Spanish for a few weeks now and sometimes I get a bit mixed up with my English.

Rawrz
May 8th 2012



146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album. I find it to be more enjoyable then the last few Trio albums.

Digging: The Gaslight Anthem - Get Hurt

Kellerdeck
May 8th 2012



1881 Comments


I like Rawrz's name.

BallsToTheWall
May 8th 2012



44173 Comments


Nice review, want to hear this.

sniper
May 8th 2012



19048 Comments


brilliant summary/concluding paragraph. i won't check this out considering i don't even like alkaline trio.

good review, pos.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2012



50096 Comments


It feels like while Dan keeps progressing as a song writer, Skiba is stuck in 01

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

juleswriteslove
May 12th 2012



1 Comments


good review - totally agree with pretty much everything - especially " I feel like Jason Batemen in the famous Arrested Development scene wherein he opens the bag in his fridge marked “Dead Dove. Do Not Eat.” and remarks “Well, I don’t know what I was expecting.”

love skiba... but would have appreciated something more unique on this album.



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