A lot of cool things happened in the spring of this year around North Eugene High School. The Track and Field team sent several kids to the state tournament, the Baseball team produced three all-state athletes, and the Culinary team took first place at a tournament on the coast, winning themselves each $1,000 in grant money. In the midst of all of these impressive things occurring, it is easy to see why local band SKEEVE’s demo may have been missed by many music fans.
The local punks released a demo in the March and April months that includes five of their live-set mainstays. The group consists of three North students, Hunter Briggs, Elle Belfatto, and Traydon Brown, as well as Ryan Lytle, older brother of Evan Lytle who some local music fans may know as one half of Sheldon-based rap group Xiu Gvng (zoo gang).
After only their first show, which happened at a house in West Eugene, I knew that this group was going to be really good, and locally popular. The first song they always play is titled “I’m OK,” and it has opened every one of their shows since their first one. This tune is extremely popular in their set, and the chorus enchants the audience with a vibe that just screams “sing this with the band.” The track also opens up their demo, which was incredibly smart and works to great effect; when their demo opens with “I’m OK,” the listener almost feels as if they are at a SKEEVE show.
Following “I’m OK”, are four songs that they also play live regularly. All four (“Confused,” “Don’t Know,” “Sorry,” and “Ourselves”). All four of these songs are incredibly anthemic, loud, and fast hardcore punk rock tracks that display the raw energy that SKEEVE is willing to put into their music. Any fan of hardcore knows that energy is what makes this genre of music happen, and SKEEVE has never been lacking in that regard.
Unfortunately there are a couple of small critiques I have with this album. Traydon Brown’s vocal tracks seem unevenly mixed at times; however, I do understand that recording in a home studio can be a hassle, especially when you have high school to balance with music as well. The demo, though a demo, also felt very short to me. Clocking in at just over nine minutes, this demo stays short as is traditional with punk music. The album lengths of hardcore punk and grindcore music has always been the one flaw in my own opinion. Nonetheless, don’t let any of that stray you away from listening to their demo (skeeve541.bandcamp.com), or seeing them live when they play one of their many frequent shows in the Eugene/Springfield Area.