By Sky Larkin
Leeds band Sky Larkin released their debut album 'The Golden Spike' recently. Headed by singer and guitarist Katie Harkin, drummer Nestor Mathews and bassist Doug Adams, they have blended a catchy mix of alternative guitar rock with the sweet feminine vocals of Katie. Her winsome voice sweeps over this album and, coupled with the sweeping guitar, creates a long player that is a pleasure to listen to and is home grown in Leeds to boot.
Album highlights include the singles 'I Fossil' and 'Beeline,' which provide the melodies that stick in one's mind the most, with guitars that provide an almost metallic and jerky taste, stop-start rhythm and energetic interludes. 'Matador' is also a track that stands out from the first listen of the album, as the track develops nicely from a light airy tune at the beginning, to a crescendo of guitars and drums that trip along in an infectious four minutes of musical fun.
Recorded in Seattle on the Wichita label produced by John Goodmanson, 'The Golden Spike' is a superb debut album that improves with repeated listening. With a raw edge to it, as with most guitar based debuts, it still has a feeling of completeness with a sound that is catchy and full. Once you start, you won't be able to stop and it will not be long before many, many more people will have heard of Sky Larkin. Judging by this set of twelve tracks, 2009 is set to be a great year for this local band that Leeds can be proud of.