In support of their tenacious debut album, Manhattan, just out this week, emerging garage rock combo SKATERS hosted their record release party at Bowery Ballroom on Monday night. The evening’s opening set came from the Brooklyn alt-punk band the So So Glos, who hyped up the crowd with an uproarious Wu Tang Clan cover upon their entrance. They followed that up with roughly forty minutes of sweaty, clobbering madness featuring lead singer Alex Levine occasionally singling out the few cross-armed, texting spectators by mimicking their disinterested actions. They were hard not to love.
SKATERS emerged from backstage to the tune of the Ghostbusters theme song in homage to the late Harold Ramis, who passed away that morning. The drum kit was mounted on an elevated platform while lead, rhythm and bass guitar thrashed exuberantly along with singer Michael Cummings. Their set ranged from boisterous, pop-leaning noise rock to downtempo, reggae-influenced post-punk, replicating the diverse fullness of their debut album. At the tail end of their set, Cummings dedicated a song to a familiar face in the crowd before erupting into a buoyant rendition of the Smiths’ This Charming Man. It came as a surprise, but it made sense that the self-acclaimed “plasma punk” group would gravitate to the popcorn riffs of that electrifying classic, given the Smiths-cum-Strokes nods in their sound. After two encore songs, one of which being the salaciously lethargic Bandbreaker, SKATERS thanked the crowd and Cummings wished his mother (seated in the balcony) a happy birthday. Also hard not to love.
Photos by Angel Eugenio Fraden.