rob skane
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rob skane

Albany, New York, United States | INDIE | AFM

Albany, New York, United States | INDIE | AFM
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Rob Skane - Phantom Power Trip"

No gimmicks. No empty hype. Not particularly flashy. But the 11 songs that make up veteran Niskayuna rocker Skane’s third proper solo album rank among the strongest to be released by any artist, any where, this year. This is just flat-out good songwriting in the mold of The Beatles or The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg, back with muscular, no-nonsense rock n’ roll arrangements.
- Daily Gazette

"Rob Skane - Phantom Power Trip"

Sometimes you can listen to an album and just know where it is from and Rob Skane’s “Phantom Power Trip” clearly hails from a big city basement. In it’s melodically conventional compact way, this album is something of a punk homage to the tribulations of a singer songwriter. However, Mr. Skane’s songs, for the most part, stay well clear of self obsession even if, notwithstanding the presence of other musicians, this album still sounds like a work of a one man band. In his basement, he has laboured long and hard on creating the kind of tightly constructed songs that you would expect from the likes of marshall Crenshaw or Elvis Costello in their respective heydays. “It’s A Great Day”, for example, transcends it’s simplicity in a way that makes you wonder what it would song like played live. Similarly, “Girl Next Door” just cries out for a release out into the big wide world. I’ve picked those two but there are many more just waiting for their parole to come through. Assured song writing isn’t that common a skill there days and on this album Rob Skane proves himself a true practitioner. Would it be nice to hear these songs booming out of a radio? You bet! -

"Phantom Power Trip Review"

Rock & roll for better or worse, is often considered an art form. And sometimes when that happens, the rock rolls right out the door in favor of pretense. If that sort of thing bugs you, Rob Skane’s “Phantom Power Trip” should provide some relief. Like Bruce Springsteen acolyte, Jesse Malin, or the Smithereens, Skane clearly believes in the power of rock & roll, and on this 11-track album, he unleashes that power like he’s blown up a dam, each song stampeding along relentlessly. “Phantom Power Trip” is a fine record, one which manages to cover a lot of territory in what is often thought of as a limited palette. “In My Room” isn’t a Beach Boys cover, though it does, in it’s own way, plumb similar issues of isolation and loneliness with a gorgeous guitar-and-organ accompaniment. “Girl Next Door” comes out of the bedroom to toast a lovely lady through the lens of Cars-style pop music, while “Would You Be There” is positively college rock along the lines of Violent Femmes.
- Roll Magazine

"Rob Skane - Phantom Power Trip"

It always amazes us how many underground artists there are on the planet creating music that is as good as...or in most cases way better than...any of the so-called 'successful' twenty-first century bands and/or solo artists. Add Rob Skane to the list of underground singer/songwriters who is totally deserving of an audience. Skane writes and records basic guitar-driven pop in the same general vein as Nick Lowe. Instead of utilizing multiple overdubs to cover up for a lack of material, Rob writes strong songs and keeps the arrangements simple so that the listener isn't bombarded with unnecessary details. To put it more simply...Phantom Power Trip is a great album full of instantly hummable pop. Skane has a cool understated voice, his melodies are exceptional, and his lyrics smart and inventive. Eleven gripping cuts here including "I Waited," "You Preach Peace," "Let It Be Me," and "The Idiot Show." TOP PICK. -

"Phantom Power Trip"

Phantom Power Trip” is the title of local veteran rocker Rob Skane’s latest CD. Although Skane is not from the area he found his way to Albany to make it his home “I had played many shows in other scenes, but something about Albany and the music scene here drew me too it, so I moved here.” says Skane and adds ,”It is close to New York City and to Boston and I was traveling to those places to gig so it just made sense”.

Rob Skane never left and some 20 years later he is releasing a new cd on Saturday September 25 at The Ale house in Troy NY with a live performance.This time with a full band backing him including longtime friend, musician, club owner Howard Glassman. Glassman who Managed Bogies, owns Valentines , and manages The Linda Norris Auditorium/WAMC. His abbreviated version of musical ventures include Coal palace kings , Grainbelt, and The Dugan’s, a band he and Skane once played in together! (Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited” plays in the distance).

In the past Rob Skane has been compared to Paul McCartney, Graham Parker. At the first strum to the last lick it’s a goodtime -homestyle cooked rock record. with heartfelt and heartached songs. As much I really hate to compare it to, but it’s a compliment to Mr.Skane to say “Phantom Power Trip” gave me that Traveling Wilbury’s/Petty vibe with hints of CCR .

By far Rob Skane is one of the most talented performers and original songwriters that Upstate NY has to offer . After 20 years he has only begun his musical journey. For more info go to - CBS6 NEWS

"CD Review: Rob Skane - Phantom Power Trip"

Drawing on inspirations like Nick Lowe, Graham Parker and Marshall Crenshaw, Skane's Phantom Power Trip will keep your hips shaking and your toes tapping while you rock and roll. "I Waited" is both a thematic and sonic cousin to Terry Anderson's "All Dressed Up" with The Yayhoos, "You Preach Peace" is primo roots rock, and "Girl Next Door" comes on like Dave Edmunds in Rockpile. And "The Idiot Show" would make Rockpile's other half, Lowe, proud. Get your roots on with this one. - Absolutepowerpop

"Rob Skane's Phantom Power Trip"

I remember the first time I heard Rob Skane. Back when I was writing for Metroland (about 100 years ago), he was a young whippersnapper who sent me a cassette-only release by his Utica-based band – which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty.

It wasn’t very good. And in my review, I said so rather forthrightly, as I recall, although I also tried to point out the bright and promising elements – few though they might have been.

Since those long-ago days, Skane has become a longtime Capital Region music scene mainstay, doing his thing with such now-defunct, endearingly lo-fi bands as the Dugans (with Howe Glassman) and the Lawn Sausages (with Jim Barrett and Artie Fredette), which, in fact, was actually more of Troy street gang than a band.

Then he went solo, sometimes booking himself as Rob Skane & His Guitar. He practiced. He woodshedded. He played lots and lots of gigs. And over the course of a string of ever-improving, self-released, home-brewed solo albums like “Nowheresville,” “SelfNoise,” “SoloFi” and “The Mouse Mixes,” he found himself.

All of which is the preamble to “Phantom Power Trip,” a genuine gem of an album. It’s more low-key than lo-fi, and it’s got a tantalizing kick, somewhat akin to Nick Lowe’s work – obviously one of Skane’s primal influences – especially on the chugging “You Preach Peace.”

And like Lowe’s stellar oeuvre, Skane delivers profound insights in a casual, matter-of-fact fashion. His vocals are relaxed and resonant. There’s a crackling, deep-twang to his guitar playing that’s part surf-rock, part Richard Thompson without swinging for the fences.

He’s bolstered his sound on this album with a rhythm section that features drummer Peter Maine (of Psychoneedles) and bassist Todd Haviland (of Shu), as well as some exquisitely placed backing vocals by Dale Haskell (of Street Corner Holler).

Recorded at Skane’s basement lair, Los Noise Floor, as well as Edie Road Studios in Argyle, the album isn’t sonically perfect. I wish the drums had more pop and snap to them, for example.

But the songs… There’s a deceptively simple sound to the yearning but wary, hook-filled “Untouchable.” A new wave churn to the frustrated “I Waited.” A vintage ’60s garage rock reverb provides the shimmering backing for “Would You Be There,” which comes complete with a psychedelicized backwards guitar solo. “It’s a Great Day” takes spooky chordal turn as Skane intones such lyrics as “Feeling sharp/Looking razor-thin/The pills I’m taking/Are finally kickin’ in.”

No question, this is Skane’s best work to date. It’s full of confidence, burn-into-your-brain hooks and grown-up insights. -

"Self Noise From The All Music Guide (4 STARS!)"

AMG EXPERT REVIEW: Rob Skane - SelfNoise. This New York based musician uses equal parts Robbie Robertson and Lou Reed to create his descriptive and personal vignettes. Using a sparse amount of instruments, Skane relies on the lyrics to carry most tracks. "Into Your Soul" is a good example of this, despite falling off slightly near the end. When the beat picks up on the "$15.00 Room," the corny idea of a converstaion with Jesus about guitar heroes isn't so far-fetched. Each song builds on the momemtum of the previous track, giving the album a strong cohesion. "It's A Great Day" is a fine effort, with a simple rock arrangement resulting in a far bigger payoff. Skane tends to shine on the slower material though, resembling Paul Westerberg on the tender acoustic driven "Jennifer and James." "Hard to Understand" is the album's best track, with Skane sound quite like Jakob Dylan. Only on "Troubadour Extraordinaire" does Skane get a bit too wordy, resulting in a rather bland perfomance. "Mercer Street Breakdown" doen't get bogged down in confessional dialogue or samples. In fact, it adds a certain intangible, which works well with the singer/songwriter's melody. The closing ramble and loop on "KISS in 3D" is one of the more inane efforts you'll hear but the overall effort is superior. AMG RATING: **** - Written By Jason Mac Neil

"SelfNoise Review from Yeah-Yeah-Yeah"

Albany based Rob Skane brings no weak stuff on his sophomore release. Originally from the brewery town of Utica, Rob sings with a soft spoken delivery that serves to make you listen all the harder. Sardonic lyrics blended with minimalist but well place sonics make SelfNoise a potent output inded. Whether drinking with the lord in "$15.00 Room" of referencing KISS on both "Jennfier and James" and the sound sculpture of "KISS in 3D" the imagery is darkly entertaining. "It's a Great Day" finds Rob at his best with an upbeat pop veneer applied to wry lyrics that run across grain. All in all, SelfNoise is a collection of bright and bubbly pessimistic lullabies for the blank generation. - Written By Matt Mac Haffie

"SelfNoise Review from Metroland"

"It's a great day," sings Albany songwriter Rob Skane midway through his latest album. "For a breakdown," he adds in the next line, revealing that the deceptively upbeat and catchy song, "It's a Great Day", has more to do with the narrator's antidepressant-fueled high than it does with anything positive about the world. Such is the sense of irony that propels Skane's stellar new album, SelfNoise.

Though the album is generally serious, dark and deeply personal, some of SelfNoise's bleaker moments are leavened by Skane's sly humor. The seriocomic "$15.00 Room" finds an inhabitant of a cheap motel room visited by Jesus; the heavenly apparition shares a smoke and a drink while discussing Jimi Hendrix's musical performances beyond the Pearly Gates. "Jennifer and James" presents a poignant, melancholic portrait of a pair of lovers, until the song is lightened considerably by the songwriter's name check of Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley.

SelfNoise has an intimate and often sparse feel that has as much to do with the album's production as it does with its subject matter. Skane recorded and mixed SelfNoise himself and played most of the instruments. His hushed vocals amplify the up-close-and-personal vibe, creating the sensation that the singer is sharing confidences with his listeners. Among Skane's straightforward and serious songs, "This Ain't Cool" and the tender "Mercer Street Breakdown" stand out, as does the bitter pill "Hard to Understand," which shares a psychic resemblance to Grant Hart's Husker Du work. - Written By Kirsten Ferguson

"SelfNoise Review From Delusions Of Adequacy"

Rob Skane - SelfNoise. Singer/songwriter Rob Skane composes songs that draw you in, with lyrics that are heartfelt and at times heartbreaking and haunting. His mostly accoustic music shows an intense interest in people and the reasons they do what they do. The Albany, N.Y.-based Skane writes great, catchy songs with smart, strong lyrics. A natural born storyteller, his songs tell about lovers getting away, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray jamming together, watching the evening news and trying to understand what it means.

SelfNoise, his excellent second album, was recorded at his home with the bulk of it done in the middle of the night as his wife slept. In "$15 Room," he describes a conversation with Jesus in a hotel room over some smokes and a bottle. It's a subject that in a lesser talents hands would come off as corny, but one that Skane makes believable and humorous: "Spilt my last bottle with the Lord but he started acting bored."

"It's a Great Day" is reminiscent of George Harrison: "It's a great day for a breakdown ... Feeling sharp and looking razor thin." The song tells the story of a man trying to keep it all together through the help of prescription drugs, who ultimately says it's ok to be who you are. It's no surprise that at home, Skane is a local star. He's been called the Ace Frehley of Albany. He also doubles as the lead guitarist and musical director for that city's over-the-top shock rockers, The Lawn Sausages.

Skane calls his music 'garagefolkrocknroll,' but above all, he's a storyteller of great talent. He's an American auteur who suffers only from the fact that he doesn't have a label backing him. He deserves to be known outside of his hometown. He deserves a larger audience.

- Written By Mike Kylis

"SelfNoise Review From Luna Kafe E-Zine"

Rob Skane - SelfNoise. Rob Skane's music is lo-fi and lowdown. He sings his songs in a raggedly convincing voice. Self Noise was recorded by Skane in his home and its intimate, unadorned sound suits it well. The quietly intense "Into Your Soul" talks of seeing through someone's lies. "$15.00 Room" describes an encounter with Jesus in a hotel room. It's a comic, yet serious minded song. It's not the only moment here that brings Paul Westerberg to mind.

The melancholy "Jennifer and James" details two lovers down on their luck. It's moving but has humorous touches too. "This Ain't Cool" is sad, but musically upbeat. Skane's guitar playing is energetic here. Self Noise is a fine album by this 'trobadour extraordinarie'.

- Written By Anna Maria Stjarnell

"Metroland Live Review RobSkane/Grant Hart (ex-Husker Du)"

Grant Hart, Rob Skane at Valentine's: When local garage-folk songwriter Rob Skane went on stage, he had to contend with the uncertainty of a no-show headliner (Hart didn't appear until the end of the opening set). Still, Skane made the best of the situation, cracking lighthearted jokes in between songs from his latest album SelfNoise. Almost belying his extremely tall stature, Skane's tunes tende to be wistful and sensitive: "Jennifer and James" a melancholic love song that name-checked KISS guitarist Ace Frehley; the reclusive "In My Room," which showcased Skane's subdued, hushed vocals; and the mournful "How Many More Times." Skane concluded his set with the upbeat, irrepressibly catchy "It's A Great Day" and a memorable cover of the Clash's "Train In Vain."

- Written By Kirsten Ferguson

"Metroland Live Review RobSkane/Juliana Hatfield"

Juliana Hatfield, Rob Skane at Bogie's: Hatfield's null-point headling set also wasted the energy built during Rob Skane's high intensity solo opening act: Skane stood, he sweated, he played hard, he sang passionately, he engaged the audience, he remembered his songs, and most importantly, he cared about the quality of his performance. The centerpiece of Skane's solo set remains "Leather Jacket With A Bullet Hole" a beautifully textured, longingly melancholy story of loss, loss, loss, not much redemption and a little bit more loss - but a torchy reading on "New York Nights" and a three lighter rendition of "Talk Without Lying" and an aching pull through "Sister Ramone" kept the emotional and musical content high throuhout the set.

Skane even had an appropriate response fot the Beavis and Butt-head types who like to yell "Warrant, uh huh huh" and "Tesla, heh heh huh" and the like at acoustic performers: He closed out his set with a sizzling audience participation version of KISS' "Rock and Roll All Nite" It was a noble sentiment . Too Bad Juliana Hatfield didn't believe it.

- Written by J.Eric Smith


2010 - Phantom Power Trip, LP - Lo.Fi Records.



Rob Skane - Phantom Power Trip
“Rock’n’Roll the way God intended it.” Scott Kempner

Rob Skane is rock and roll.
Believe it.
Long one of the unsung forces on Capital Region scene, Skane returns to the fore with the release of “Phantom Power Trip” -- 11 smart, short hook-filled tunes from the left of the dial.
Skane grew up in Central New York with one ear on the radio and one hand on his guitar case. He was ready to move before he was born, landing in Albany just in time to leave again -- this time on tour with the legendary Dugans.
He gained a reputation as a gum-chewing wisecracker, but all the while he was studying the greats -- looking to Paul McCartney’s sense of melody; Paul Westerberg’s flair for adult angst; and Graham Parker’s extraordinary passion.
“Nick Lowe just kills me,” Skane says, “the way he can twist a phrase around. Three minutes, words and music, but it’s so much more.”
But life isn’t all pop songs for the son of a Utica cop, and following the requisite stints in road hog rock bands and 10 years of the solo acoustic grind, Skane went underground.
Into his Niskayuna basement.
Which became, almost overnight, a laboratory, a monk’s cell and a recording studio -- all adorned with the same array of condenser mics, restless notebooks and Mexican wrestling masks.
The result was a series of similarly-titled solo audio adventures, including “Nowheresville,” “SelfNoise,” “SoloFi” and “The Mouse Mixes.”
He calls his place Los Noise Floor NY, ascribing to the R. Stevie Moore ethos of do-it-yourself-or-bust. Moore, you might remember, launched the home-recording industry back in the late 70s with a mix of magnetic tape and madman’s glee.
Skane -- who’s actually worked for labels and studios -- doesn’t simply push the button on a Zoom recorder, He engineers. He EQs. He mixes.
Need proof?
“Phantom Power Trip.”
Just try made-for-radio stuff like “I Waited,” “Would You Be There,” “Girl Next Door” or “Let It Be Me.”
With drums (Peter Maine of Psychoneedles) and bass (Todd Haviland of Shu) tracked at Edie Road Studios in Argyle, NY, and imported into Los Noise Floor NY, Skane put on the mask or the bagel beamer or whatever he uses to make the magic happen, and he set to work.
The result is the album of his life.
In more ways than one.
“You Preach Peace” and “Army of Individuality” point fingers with punk intensity; “The Idiot Show” points the same acid finger in Skane’s bathroom mirror. “Untouchable” is unflinching. And “In My Room” is a late-in-life lament about lost love, marked with quiet keyboards and plaintive singing.
All feature remarkable, almost spookily symbiotic backing vocals from Dale Haskell.
Together the tales start to tell a bigger story -- childhood, work, kids, love, sex and death. But so do the sounds -- childhood, work, kids, Telecasters, Vox amps and pearlescent Gretsch kits.
“I remember seeing Joe Strummer on TV when I was a kid,” Skane says, “and he said punk rock was about more than just playing the right chords; you could sing about the big stuff, too. That left such a lasting impression on me.”
Now Skane’s making the only music that matters -- his.
“It’s a Great Day” isn’t kid stuff. You can’t sing “it’s a great day/for a breakdown“ with a smirk. But you can sing it with a hook that goes for a days, your left hand wrapped around the maple neck in one of those impossible British D chords.
And “Ballad of A Small Man” is not one of those songs penned by a whip-smart college kid with daddy’s keys in his pocket. It’s the stuff of an actual father making his way through this wicked world, looking for harmony while wrestling bills, memories and a real rock and roller’s lack of marketable social skills.
“I like to write songs that people can relate to,” Skane says, “and I find that most people can relate to songs that are about something other than being happy all the time.”
“Phantom Power Trip.” Take it. It’s Skane’s trip, but it’s yours, too.

“Rob Skane’s on his PHANTOM POWER TRIP
I’ve been out riding with the top down, cruising real slow, lookin’ for chicks, in my 63 Corvette Sting Ray, midnight blue, wearing my coolest blue jeans, got one you-know-what left in my wallet pokin’ through, Converse high tops, and a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in my white t-shirt sleeve, blasting Rob Skane’s new one, PHANTOM POWER TRIP loud enough to be heard several blocks in every direction & drown out the police sirens that have been doggin’ me for an hour.
Actually, the only part of the above that’s true is the cruisin’ around listening to Rob Skane part, although it was in a clunky 2007 Dodge and there’s nothin’ but a coupla fives in my wallet. But, it sure did feel like all that with Rob’s record, uh cd, playing and upsetting the neighbors. I kept thinking: you mean somebody still makes records like this?! Thank God! Rock’n’Roll the way you want it and the way you need it. Stripped down muscle car guita