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 CD Review of Lifetime Skivers E.P 'Looking Up'

After offering to write a review of the new lifetime skiver E.P. entitled "Looking up" I realised how hard it was going to be to write an unbiased view of one of my favourite bands. Lifetime Skiver have been around for a long time in "local music" terms, and have Looking Up developed a big fan-base through great live performances and writing catchy, generally upbeat songs. The Looking up E.P. does not digress from that winning formula. The first track on the E.P. is "Today" and will be a familiar one among fans. It starts with a catchy riff that continues throughout the song. The melody for the vocals becomes equally addictive. One of lifetime skivers strengths is the fact they have three vocalists that although have different styles are very competent. This becomes apparent on this song with backing vocals from Jow that are faultless. The song itself is very much a song that provokes a sense of optimism and after a few listens you find yourself singing along. At 2.16 long it is short and sweet, but is the perfect opening song for the E.P.

Track number two on the E.P. is "It never used to be like this". This song is personally my least favourite on the E.P. By no means does this mean it gets skipped because it's still a great tune, but I don't think it's as good as the other 3 tracks. However the song has some backing vocals from Si kelly that lead me to believe that he has more than the standard 2 lungs. The title would suggest a sombre, quiet sad song, but this is not the case.

The third track "hideaway" is the track that is also on "the friends of the forum" CD. This track has yet another solid vocal performance from Si kelly and Mike. The chorus is very catchy with Si's backing vocals following the keyboard line note for note. I also like the lyrics for the chorus, including the line "you've got to stare the world right in the face". The end of the song features some trumpet work from Matt Roberts which adds a nice touch to an uplifting song.

The fourth and final track "light nights" is my personal favourite. Starting with the drums, bass and an acoustic guitar it builds into what can only be described as the perfect summer anthem. Jow takes the lead on the vocals to start then mike joins in and together they manage some great harmonies that McCartney and Lennon would almost be jealous of. The lyrics come into their own on this track; one line in particular stands out "how can you say so much, and never exactly say enough, for me to listen". This is a song that will stick in your head for days, and that can only be a good thing. It also includes more trumpet from Matt Roberts, and a brilliant harmonica solo towards the end.

 In summary, the Looking up E.P. is an absolute steal. I can't think of anything as cheap that is so enjoyable. You will be tapping your foot or humming these songs at work for weeks to come. Lifetime Skiver may have been around for a while but they have still got it. I know of very few bands that can write a song as good as any of the tracks on the E.P. The arrangements to the songs are superb and the drums and bass are solid. The production and engineering work from Chris Davison is also very good. New bands take note for there is a lot to be learnt from lifetime skiver. Forget that last pint, buy the E.P. instead.