Review: Skinny Genes- Ugh 7″ (It’s Alive)

Posted: December 19, 2015 in Reviews

Ugh cover art

This is the second 7” from Skinny Genes, aka Ace from Steinways/Houseboat’s pop-punk solo project, where he basically does everything (writes the songs, sings, plays all the instruments). It’s almost every bit as good as his debut 7” “Meh” which came out a couple of years ago and is basically in the same vein: energetic and hook-y-as-fuck pop-punk. If you like any of the songs Ace sang in Steinways/Houseboat, you’re going to love this. “Words With Friends With Benefits” is probably the pick of the bunch, but they’re all great. The song bursts instantly into action, with the fast-paced and frenetic verses perfectly complementing the slowed-down, earworm-y chorus: “I need you, to just listen”.

The upbeat melodies and pop-punk-iness is in sharp contrast to Ace’s self-deprecating honesty. He captures well the frustration and difficulties encountered by his generation: those in their late 20s/early 30s, of lacking direction, focus, vision for the future, of not knowing what you want in life. This is summed up pretty well by the opening lines of the first song from the 7” “Self-defeat Champion of the Galaxy”:

“Lost in a trance and my eyeballs are shot/ Staring for hours, I know I should stop/ Searching for something but I don’t know what/ When I think I’ve found it, it’s not what I want”

Ace suggests an inability to grow up here, an inability to mature, of perpetual adolescence. Such complacency and laziness is making him freak out, in a similar way to Colleen Green outlined in her latest (awesome) LP I Want to Grow Up (Yes, I will make two Colleen Green references in two consecutive reviews, fuck you). “Deeper than Love” was about Colleen being scared of intimacy and commitment and Ace’s most interesting song lyrically is the closer “Stallage” when he talks about his tendency to ‘stall’ in relationships: “We can’t stay together, we can’t stay apart/ You want a future and I’m scared to start”. There’s an exhausted acceptance by Ace in these four songs of how he is: “No-one wins or loses, lets give up this fight tonight”.

Every song I’ve heard from Skinny Genes so far is at least an 8/10. The hooks on this 7” aren’t quite as memorable as “I suck at being a grown up” was from “Meh”, but still pretty fucking great nonetheless. I want more, Ace. MORE!

Listen here:



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