Skyway – Hope Floats, Love Sinks EP
Released: 20 November, 2020
Dan McMaster // Vocals
Rohan Chant // Guitar
Daniel Hawkins // Vocals & Guitar
Rupert Muir // Bass
Ben Hallett // Drums
2020 has dished out some curveballs like no other, however it’s also been a great year for comebacks, and one band that got us all hot under the collar was the Gold Coast’s Skyway who announced their return back in September (after teasing us for years). The pop punk quintet also announced their new EP when we premiered their first post-hibernation single for you and now that the dust has settled on that news, it’s time to review the fucker for you!
‘Above Snakes‘ kicks it all off with a slow (and almost wild west/Metallica-esque) guitar playoff between Daniel and Ron bringing us into the next era before Ben Hallet‘s soft drumming joins and Rupert’s bass skills making up the band’s instrumental re-introduction to Skyway. The only difference this time is it’s not very pop punky, it borders more on a soft rock/metal side and I for one would be down for Skyway honing in on a new genre/style in future, just so we can see the talent they have behind them. Comeback single ‘Cut The Ties‘ is up next and if you don’t hear blink-182‘s ‘Every Time I Look For You‘ intro blended with Sum 41‘s ‘All To Blame‘ then you can’t really call yourself a pop punk kid anymore… soz! Frontman Dan McMaster‘s muffled voice is heard in the background as the lads join forces before it all clears up and his distinct voice is finally back with his boys taking on a journey we didn’t think we’d hear again. This is their amp up song. When shows return and Skyway hit the stage again, I have no doubt in my mind this’ll be the song they open with. It’s got group chants, sing-a-long moments and circle pit inducing riffs and drum sections that I can picture going off in a festival setting (looking at you Good Things Festival). There’s a semi-breakdown towards the end with playback stop downs giving you plenty of time to belt out the lyrics “Hope floats / while love sinks / and doubt grows where hate lives / I feel myself slipping awayyyyyy”. It’s Skyway doing what they do best.
‘Heart Anchor‘ is for the old school fans! It’s an upbeat track which throws back to the band’s punk roots and reminds me of some of Trophy Eyes most recent work, but with that unique Skyway twang! Dan’s whiney vocals work so well in this one (everyone loves a whiney voice in pop punk, just look at Neck Deep and God in blink) but his melodic vocals have really matured since the band’s last album, 2011’s Finders Keepers… Next up we’ve got ‘Glasshouse‘ which picks the tempo up, throws in some rockier riffs and backs my claims that this band are one of Australia’s best upcomers. I’d love to say they sound bigger than their early years, but eight years on hiatus means they’ve gotta get reacquainted with fans again and bring in some newcomers, and I have no doubt that’ll happen when this bad boy is released. This banger has some Story of the Year/post-hardcore vibes to it which can be a promising direction for the Skyway lads if they follow down that path with future releases.
Last, but certainly not least, it wouldn’t be a Skyway EP without a throwback to a couple of decades ago (not the 80s, I’m talking 1992 now) and yet another song given a rockier makeover from the Gold Coast boys… this time it’s Wendy Matthews getting the Skyway treatment with her song ‘The Day You Went Away‘ and holy shit, this sounds like it picks up right where Finders Keepers… finished. THIS is the Skyway you’ll remember. Dan’s vocals are on point (especially those high notes), the riffs ooze punk perfection and all of the instrumentals combined just take this song from it’s original sad ballad to a next level pop punk jam you’ll be able to show your kids (like your parents probably did with the original). There’s a short lil guitar solo, a feeling comfort knowing the boys are back and nostalgia-driven emotions that’ll have you wanting to play the band’s back catalogue on repeat for the rest of the year. In my opinion – this cover doesn’t compare to their Tracy Chapman/’Fast Car‘ banger, but it’s a worthy second place and cements my belief that this band can do covers better than half the bands that appear on those Pop Goes Punk Compilations…
The wait is over and Skyway are officially back in our lives. While this short, yet punchy release should make up for the void they left when they started their hiatus all those years ago, it’s a teaser for what’s to come and I for one cannot wait to see what these boys do next.
Skyway – Hope Floats, Love Sinks tracklisting
1. Above Snakes
2. Cut The Ties
3. Heart Anchor
5. The Day You Went Away (Wendy Matthews cover)