Sky Larkin – Motto
Every track on Motto could serve as a fine introduction to Sky Larkin’s brand of dynamic indie rock – and given neither The Golden Spike nor Kaleide received half the attention they deserved, such introductions are both valuable and necessary. Throughout, brawny guitars serve propulsive choruses, in which Katie Harkin’s vocals captivate via sharp lyrics and a forthright delivery that reaffirms her natural front-of-stage role after time spent touring in Wild Beasts’ live band.
Having expanded from three-piece to four, Sky Larkin use the extra hands to add bulk to their already-robust sound (see, for example, the scintillating way Italics builds into a pop-rock goliath), and it’s only their over-fidelity to their trademarks that prevents Motto matching up to its predecessors. Hit the same buttons long enough and something’s bound to jam, and so it is that Motto manages to feel thrilling in segments, but marginally less exciting when taken as a (slightly) repetitive whole. [Chris Buckle]