Skeletoon – The 1.21 Gigawatts Club Review

I’d like to start this review with an apology to Eldritch Elitist. I violated his rights by covering Skeletoon‘s 2020 album, Nemesis. In Steel Druhm‘s excitement to assign me a goofy album from a goofy band with a goofy name, and in my excitement to receive such an honor, we both failed to realize that Eldritch had covered Skeletoon‘s Goonies-themed album They Never Say Die in 2019, giving him the right of prima promo. The gracious Mr. Elitist gently broke the news to me shortly after that review published, and even went so far as to allow me to cover this, Skeletoon‘s fifth album in six years. The Nerd Metal Superheroes are headed back into classic film territory, this time tackling the Back to the Future trilogy. Nemesis was a fun and memorable power metal record, but an album a year is a hard pace to maintain. Does The 1.21 Gigawatts Club have enough juice to energize the flux capacitor and send us on a nostalgic trip back to 1985, or is this DeLorean just a glorified paperweight? Let’s make like a tree and find out!

We might have traveled one year into the future, but not much has changed when it comes to Skeletoon‘s sound. Fans of Rhapsody and Dragonforce will find a lot to love about the music these zany Italians produce. An intro unveiling secrets entitled “Intro Unveiling Secrets” initiates the story and leads into first proper track and embedded single “Holding On,” an über-melodic romp through all things Euro-power. The smooth voice of Tomi Fooler cruises through the verses and soars through the choruses, dogfighting with the guitar leads high above the speed metal riffing and double bass kicking. The song ends with a classic Dragonforce video game solo section and some shimmering, ultra-harmonized vocals, and pushes the record from 0 to 88mph in no time, flat.

Skeletoon do a great job of capturing the spirit of the Back to the Future saga in each song. “The Pinheads” takes on an arena rock vibe as it pays tribute to Marty McFly’s band, and ballad “Enchant Me” transports us right to the Hill Valley High School gymnasium for some slow dancing—and the album even closes with a power metal cover of “Johnny B. Goode” to pay homage to Marty’s groundbreaking performance of the song. “We Don’t Need Roads (The Great Scott Madness)” uses keys and strongly channels Avantasia to take us six years into our past, when flying cars and skateboards were all the rage. And last proper track “Eastwood Ravine” pulls us into Marty and Doc’s frantic race against time, geography, and fate, celebrating the triumphant moment when they go all Sarah Conner on destiny’s ass—there is no fate but what we make!

While this album is nearly as much fun as its predecessor, I’d say that the songs on The 1.21 Gigawatts Club don’t quite match up to those found on Nemesis. Although they’re not bad at all, a couple of the tracks on the back half of the album, namely “Pleasure Paradise (Oh Là Là)” and “The 4th Dimensional Legacy,” feel like they drop off slightly in quality, making the album feel a bit longer than it actually is. But with fantastic ditties like “Holding On,” “Outatime,” “The Pinheads,” “2204,” “Enchant Me,” “Eastwood Ravine,” and the killer cover of “Johnny B. Goode,” power metal fans should find more than enough to love here.

Well, Marty, The 1.21 Gigawatts Club might not be quite as compelling as Nemesis, but it’s still a lot of fun and worth a listen. The Nerd Metal Superheroes of Skeletoon are proving to be punctual and dependable producers of quality power metal, and I’d be willing to bet that we won’t have to wait long to see what they do next.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Scarlet Records
Releases Worldwide: October 15th, 2021

« »