The brainchild of Green Lemon guitarist/singer Wayne Allen, The Skys' debut album, "Small Dreams in an Elevator," is an eight-track collection of circuitry-inflected songs assembled by a small cast of studio musicians.
Released earlier this month, "Small Dreams" is a significant departure from the jam-edelic Oklahoma City-cum-Fort Collins, Colo., band, but Allen's voice is sufficiently confident, riding atop the more studio-scripted effort. The music itself, however, doesn't stand nearly as strong.
To be fair, "Small Dreams" is huge in effort and influence. Trancelike synths scream through "Animal," a sonic self-assessment on which Allen assures on the chorus, "I'll be fine / Just give me time." Album-closer "Different Faces" presents several identities, ranging from glitch drum machines and sawtooth synth squeals to arpeggiated pianos and breathy vocals, while the frantic lyric alienation of "Turtles" finds support with breakbeat electronics and buzzy bass notes.
Not surprisingly, the folklike "Driver" is the biggest and brightest on "Small Dreams." A simple song with a little guitar strumming and steady tambourine timekeeping, the music on this track yields to The Skys' most impressive asset: Allen's voice, which bears an uncanny and very appealing resemblance to The Rentals' Matt Sharp.
"Small Dreams in an Elevator" feels a little like an accidental stop between floors. The button is lit, an engraved plaque promises ascent to an interesting destination, but the fancy electromechanics haven't been quite worked out. We might get there quicker if
Allen and The Skys used the stairs.
For more information, visit www.theskysband.com.'Joe Wertz