Skotos EP 2023 cassette

This sounds like a garage band in the best sense of the term. I can definitely picture SKOTOS playing a wild gig in a tiny, damp, illegal venue with 50 people in a room that can barely fit 30—the kind of gigs where you are not just getting drenched in beer, but also in other people’s sweat because the venue is so tiny that there is nowhere to hide from your neighbour’s nasty armpits. Listening to this new tape EP, I can also imagine SKOTOS actually living in a New York garage. There are a lot of things going on here and, were it not for the genuinely raw and minimal aggressive hardcore production, I think they would lose me rather quickly. I enjoy the faster hardcore punk bits, especially the opening song “Penny for Pound” with its early FINAL CONFLICT/BODY COUNT vibe, but I don’t care for the heavy NYHC moments (but then to be honest, I never care for any). There are hints of powerviolence as well, especially because of the versatility, the threatening mean vibe of the songs, and the brutal changes, which works well on the whole. The ten-minute running time clearly fits with SKOTOS’s style. Typically the kind of band I would go see live expecting gladly to be punished with intense hardcore music, but I would not get their record (unless they are a friend’s band, in which case I feel guilty not to). All in all, a solid and very enjoyable hardcore band that can stylistically appeal to a lot of people, but might alienate a few for its deranged, raw production, which I would argue is precisely why the music works here (a clean production would have me run for my DISCLOSE records).

Skotos Demo 2022 cassette

A three-piece from NYC (I believe Brooklyn) playing a harsh racket of powerviolence mixed with chaotic D-beat. The unsettling feedback is intentional, and it works. The recording is gritty, noisy, and reduced to fragmented moments or lo-fi raw punk arrangements. “Concealed Carry” is a three-minute macabre dance through hardcore with blown-out psychedelic punk and maybe even droning blackened crust. I really like what SKOTOS is doing; it’s different and dark and sincere. For only being a three-piece, they bring a lot of ominous clatter and weirdness, while echoing some NYHC breakdowns and squat-show bleak punk.