Sketchy - Heck (Cover Artwork)


Heck (2017)

FTLP records

Ever since I got into punk rock as a teenager, people have been telling me it's dead and has been for years. Whether they reminisce about '90s skate-punk or long for the days of '80s hardcore, "punk is dead" has been the rallying cry of every aging punk who has given up on whichever scene of which they were a part. The question is then, if punk has died numerous times since The Ramones first stormed the stage at CBGB's, how exactly has Sketchy managed to put forth 12 solidly punk rock tunes in 2017?

Heck is the sophmore LP from the Brooklyn five piece Sketchy, released through FTLP Records. While the entirety of the album is punk rock, Sketchy is able to show their versatility as they traverse numerous styles encompassed by the genre. Songs such as "Normal" and "Never Meant To Get This Old" show off pop sensibilities and a ton of melody in the vein of Midwestern bands like Teenage Bottlerocket and Dillinger Four. While hardcore bangers "Tight Six" and "Roscharch", on the other hand, display an obvious influence from NYHC stalwarts Gorilla Biscuits and Reagan Youth. "Echo Chamber" and "Wastoid" are able to showcase a more emotional side of the band, while treading the line between punk and emo in the same way Hot Water Music and Samiam were doing two decades earlier. This diversity among songs coupled with all the angst and aggression that has always flown through the scene keeps the record fresh, while remaining wholely and completely punk rock.

Sketchy is made up of Josh Gaon (guitar/vocals), Guglielmo Remondi (guitar/vocals), Christopher J. Schultz (lead vocals), John Shields (bass/vocals), and Nick Sortino (drums)- all of whom are not only clearly well versed in punk rock history, but veterens themselves of the New York City punk scene. They have abandoned the juvenile silliness and high school romanticism sometimes associated with their style of music in favor of smart, personal lyrics. Heck deals with issues such as depression, alcoholism, and living the lonely reality of being just another twenty-something in the big city. It's heartfelt, relateable and full of the sing-a-long anthems we all love to scream from the pit.