Pleasure Cruz (Independent)
The men of Skookum waste no time letting the world know where they’re coming from on Pleasure Cruz. Over a tightly coiled hard-metal guitar riff, singer Vanman fires an opening lyrical salvo with “Cruising town in my ’69/Fetching the ladies with my moonshine”.
Next comes “Jetfuel”, in which a popping Chili Peppers bass intro gives way to a meat-and-potatoes stutter-rocker starting with “You’re my lady/And I’m your lover/Don’t you know girl/There ain’t no other.” And then there’s “You’re body’s a temple/My mind is a waste” from the jean-jacket banger “Use & Abuse Me”.
Based on those three opening tracks alone, Skookum seems on a mission from God to fuse borrowed parts of Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, Thin Lizzy, and Spinal Tap. Except that the trio doesn’t seem to be in on the joke, if in fact there is one.
That means there’s two ways to approach this impressively played and expertly recorded full-length, which contains a whopping 14 tracks. Either sit back and snicker at the soaring rocker “World Comes Crashing In”, or grab an air guitar and unleash your inner Ronnie Van Zant while earnestly knocking back a bottle of Jack. Or you could just as easily do both, because with Pleasure Cruz, there’s no telling which decision is right, possibly because neither is wrong.