A year and a half after the release of Sky Larkin's jaunty debut 'The Golden Spike', the Leeds indie rockers are back with its follow up. Running along very similar lines, the initially gratifying simplicity of their raw guitar sound can't make up for the fact that the tunes are even less memorable this time round.
Like 'The Golden Spike,', 'Kaleide' sounds like something that would have been cool in the 90s, but while these twelve songs successfully modernise grungy, distorted guitars with a more open, spacious sound, there's a serious lack of hooks here. The turbulent drums and careening vocals of 'Anjelica Houston' make Sky Larkin's ode to the Addams Family actress one of the more gripping offerings here, while the rampant frenzy of 'Spooktacular' is nothing if not infectiously energetic.
Surprisingly, it's the more downbeat numbers that leave the most lasting impression. The softly sombre opening and sparse verses of 'Tiny Heist' finally offer something to grab hold of, before later being trumped by the wonderful juxtaposition of jarring guitars and melodic piano on 'ATM'. The latter also sees lead singer Katie Harkin adjust her voice to the tone of the song, softening her usually sharp and severe tones. Sadly, her voice is by far the most distinguishing feature of Sky Larkin's music, easily identifiable by her strong Leeds accent. Sadly these are just a few brief high points in an otherwise unexceptional collection.