Let me tell you what I know about this band. Skøv are a black punk metal band from Poland, and formed in 2017. I was told beforehand that they sound like the Norwegian band Kverletak.

Add rock n roll to the above description, and that’s about what it is. As you’d expect, we go off mercilessly at breakneck speed. It’s bouncy, has punk edginess especially in the sharp instrumentals and the hard rock melody. “Release the Barbarash”, which opens up, has a hardcore gang chorus. As a song, it has infectious energy and makes you want to get involved. Very enjoyable. And so to “Blood and Bones”. The vocalist screams. The riff is irresistible once again. A clever little break in the middle entices us, and off we go back into the land of chaos, anarchy and catchy choruses. There’s a little bit of respite as “Mud” is deeper and darker, but without losing the pungent melody and catchiness. “Discoball” is not a title you’d expect on a punk album, but it’s a hard rock number with the insistent guitar and the hardcore vocal touch that is clearly a feature of this band. Skøv prove themselves to be masters of solid songs and much more.

After a couple of hard rock orientated songs, I was looking forward to a return of the earlier energy, and it comes with the punkish “Wind”. The guitar is as ever razor sharp. The vocalist’s hoarse voice adds to the dirty atmosphere. I continued to bounce to “Dust”. Quite apart from its energy, it’s the structure, and accomplished and imaginative instrumentals which make both “Dust” and the songs around it so magnetically attractive. Skøv use tempo and sound variation to great effect. I am hooked and I just want to join in. “Universal Code” has the drama, the energy and all the danger and dirtiness you could want. The guitar is like a warning siren. It’s then back to relentless punk for “Hollow Bricks”. Again Skøv insert a nice break into the middle before setting the place alight again with sheer melodic hardcore energy. “Sex and Violence” is the chant that goes with “Social Worship”, another riveting song of many instrumental colours. You want an album like this to finish in a blaze of glory, and Skøv don’t disappoint with “Burden of Crowd”. The pace and style speak punk n roll. “Burden of Crowd” is interspersed with non stop drum work and irresistible melody. All in all it’s another superbly constructed instrumental adrenaline rush.

Last year I reviewed another Polish punk album “Pora Umierać” by Truchło Strzygí. This reminds me of that but this album is more polished and dare I say commercial while keeping its dirty, punkish character. That’s mainly down to the rock n roll grooves which undoubtedly help the flow of these cleverly constructed, varied and enjoyable songs. Skøv is energy. I liked this lively album very much.

(9/10 Andrew Doherty)