This is not your Dad's -- or rather, slightly older brother's -- AUM Fidelity. The first rock release on this heretofore jazz label is a doozy -- brash, aggressive and pretty hardcore at that! From the moment Skin
's first track, "Erased", begins, vocalists M.L Platt and Nicole Lombardi (who also doubles as the band's bass player) begin a vicious assault that puts all of those wimpy nu-metal and pop-punk bands to shame. They are twin banshees who yawp and howl a thunderous screed, as if admonishing you for some egregious wrong you unknowingly committed.
While some tracks feature these screaming vocals, others, such as "Hands in the Pants" and "Packin'", bring hip-hop's rhyming and rhythms to the table. The ruthless aggression the band exhibits here will lead you to imagine them twisting Linkin Park's arms and stealing their lunch money just for kicks.
The instrumental backing, supplied by guitarists Cezhan Ambrose and Joe Fiorentino and drummer Mike Linn, is that perfectly Punk balance of brashness and economy. Despite making more out of less, with riffs that chug along on a maximum of three chords (and often fewer), there is much that is memorable here. Skin was produced by DOS, mixed by J.Z. Barrell, and mastered Chris Flam (who has also collaborated with jazzmen such as Matthew Shipp). They know when to allow the band to sound raw, on relentless onslaughts like "Misbehaving". Elsewhere, as on "Blunt", DOS works with greater subtlety, finessing the guitar and drum sounds and layering the vocals to create an attractive whole.
If you buy AUM records to hear David S. Ware but run screaming from his experimental punk and rock counterparts, Daughter will not be your dish. But if you appreciate any kind of music that kicks some serious booty, Skin will be in heavy rotation in your CD changer.