Skip Rope Rhymes is the debut solo record from Robbie Sparks, vocalist & guitarist for Rebel City Radio. The record is out on now on Killer Shark Records.
There is no denying that Skip Rope Rhymes is a deeply, dark record with its origins found way back in the early 90s. A young Robbie saw two dead dogs in a residential street & it had a hell of an impact on him. It made him wonder about the circumstances & what lay behind the doors of the ugly houses around him.
Skip Rope Rhymes was born from this with its gathering of characters & stories existing behind these doors. That imagery really helps put this music into perspective.
It has an instantly haunting start with the sound of whispering & a recorded message. It’s an unsettling opening & that feeling exists throughout the 11 tracks. The album as a whole has a gothic undertone that is highlighted by the electronic sounds throughout.
How you feel about the combination of the two will see your mind made up early on, it’s not the most accessible record you’re going to hear but it has a uniqueness that draws you in. You’ll find yourself hitting repeat to try & better understand what you’ve just heard.
Tracks like THE ANTS! with its soft guitar melody & sorrowful vocals, are the real highlight of the album while Birth (Goodbye Roggar)’s will draw some comparisons to Daft Punk!
An excellent cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper is a really welcome surprise near the albums end. Coming after the lengthy, THIS IS GOD, it’s slow, mellow tune & echoing vocals re-invigorates your ears. The use of piano in particular is fantastic.
Elsewhere tracks like Confetti Crowns, Ugly Flower & Fingered at the Disco might be catchy but if you’re not into heavy use of electronica it’s hard to really take much enjoyment away from this.
The album ends on the wonderfully dark & beautiful, EXTINCTION SONG. It’s a strong end to an album that has created a story that puts you, the listener, firmly in it.
There is a ton of imagination & unique ideas throughout Skip Rope Rhymes, it’s darkened style ensures the journey is one that you’re not likely to forget anytime soon.
Full Track Listing:
1. Robot Rape
2. Walk the Long Way Home
3. THE ANTS!
4. Confetti Crowns
5. Ugly Flower
6. Fingered at the Disco
7. Birth (Goodbye Roggar)
8. THIS IS GOD
9. Don’t Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult Cover)
10. At Daggers Drawn
11. EXTINCTION SONG
Spaztic Robot - Skip Rope Rhymes (Killer Shark Records)