Sky Larkin - The Golden Spike

Rarely will a debut album showcase as much self-confident aplomb as this offering from cute Leeds rocker types Sky Larkin.

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Released 10 Feb 2009 | Wichita | By Chris Cope | Rating: 4-5
Sky Larkin - The Golden Spike

Rarely will a debut album showcase as much self-confident aplomb as this offering from cute Leeds rocker types Sky Larkin. You might have well heard of them before, but hey, for a first full release this is pretty tasty stuff. 'The Golden Spike' is an apt name for this album, which enjoys a jangly spangly golden charm, but with this contagious wackiness there's punch-in-the-face authority here too. Hyperbole there; it's more like a playful slap, but you get the idea.

The record opens with the sugary sweet double header of 'Fossil, I' and 'Pica', the former being a soaring solid rock anthem, the latter being an enchanting one and a half minutes of vocal spectacle from Katie Harkin, who duly plays with ascending and descending melody. It turns out to be a quite a genius bit of music making.

And it is Harkin's pipes that help give this album an engaging and accessible quality, with her saccharine voice lending the instrument heavy 'Octopus '08' a welcoming aura. But that's not to say the music isn't up to scratch - indeed it is the complete opposite. 'Summit' gives us a kinetic burst of driving alternative-rock whilst album closer 'Keep Sakes' is a happy-go-lucky sounding torrent of uplifting guitar and organ, despite rather amusingly morbid lyrical content: "Gonna cut you up as pieces as keepsakes, get it done as long as it takes, gonna put you in bottles and jars, and keep the bigger bits in the boot of the car" surmises Harkin, showcasing their humorous side, one hopes.

For all the positives there must be some negatives, but then again, there aren't really. This is an enthralling listen that is well worth the admission price and more.