“In The Aeroskank Over The Checkered Pattern” – Skantral Ska Hotel Review



“We are here today to honor Jeff Mangum in the only way I know how; with the power of ska.”

It is rare that one comes across a cover album that makes you want to die in a good way, that makes you want to spend more than the minimum on bandcamp, that makes you never want to listen to the original again. Three years ago, upon receiving this link from a friend and opening my ears and heart to its magnificence, I melted my Aeroplane Over the Sea record in the microwave and never went back.

Skanktral Ska Hotel knows how to strip a song down to the seed of its meaning, and then from that seed, grow a completely new and doubly authentic masterpiece. A perfect example of this is King of Skarrot Flowers Pts. 1, 2, 3, Pick it Up Pick it Up. Jeff Mangum never would have known that the song, in its purest and most authentic form, was in fact composed of three parts, and delicately interspersed with James’s futile shouts to “Pickitup! Pickitup, go!”

Somewhere on the spectrum between the Aquabats and Andrew Jackson Jihad, this sound is so transcendent, words cannot encompass the breadth of its chaotic beauty. I can do no better than Mat Sherman, when he said, “This is cursed music.” Most striking, perhaps, is James and Seamus’s modesty. Their bandcamp page reads “This is not meant to be taken seriously, we’re simply transforming the music to see what kind of reaction we can get, aka this work is parody :)” This transformation, however, is anything but simple. Only Skanktral Ska Hotel could ever transform an album that’s already pretty good into new greater artifact of life and pain and mind screwing fun