The shanty singing London sextet are back with their third studio album, “The Devil, The Heart & The Fight”. Skinny Lister are known for their sprightly folk-rock music, and their sky high energy makes them a must-see when it comes to live performances. “The Devil, The Heart & The Fight” is a continuation of their ferocious fusion of folk, punk, and indie rock that is as infectious as it’s predecessors.
“Wanted” is the opening track on the album, and within 3 seconds the raucous energy has kicked in. Dan Heptinstall roars “I wanna feel alive” repeatedly over a thick, exhilarating mix of concertina, drums, double bass and guitar. It seems Skinny Lister have started their third album as they mean to go on.
However, “Geordie Lad” lowers the tone with a reflective song of longing and unanswered questions. Thom Mills on drums keeps the song on the upbeat side, driving it forward whilst Heptinstall looks back on “the good and the great times” with “Geordie Lad”.
“Tragedy in A Minor” rolls in with full indie force- this is the song about the girl who got away. Before the first chorus the band showcase their eclectic musical talents by merging indie with their classic maritime melodies to build a whole new style of break up song. The positive semblance Skinny Lister so effortlessly ooze would instantly give the broken hearted a reason to smile.
Lorna Thomas and Dan Heptinstall come together on “Reunion” to create flowing harmonies over the romantic acoustic guitar. “Everytime I see you, all the world is made new” communicates the hopeful longing the band are portraying in song number six.
Thomas takes to centre stage during “Hamburg Drunk”, bringing the energy back with her. “Hamburg Drunk” encapsulates the whisky drinking, sea-shanty singing, knee jigging Skinny Lister from the previous two albums perfectly. Thomas’s powerful folksy vocals state that “there is nothing to be done but get Hamburg drunk”, whilst every member of the band drives forward a song full of pure passion and lust for life.
“The Devil, The Heart & The Fight” is an album that shows the musical progression Skinny Lister are making. The band are broadening their signature style, and enlisting a new following of fans along the way.