Scales of Motion
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Scales of Motion

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Band Rock

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May
26
Scales of Motion @ Soundpony

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

May
15
Scales of Motion @ Reinvention Design

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Apr
27
Scales of Motion @ The Bluebonnett Bar

Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Norman, Oklahoma, USA

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Music

Press


Note: Scales of Motion owns. As a first-time witness of SoM’s sound, I was blown out of the water by their immense, technical indie-rock. The lead singer’s chops were stunning- his tone was unique, yet likable, and his range was impeccable. It was great to hear him sing; but as good as that was, it wasn’t even the focus of the band. No, their focus is on the amazing drum/bass/guitar interplay, which is the most intricate playing I’ve ever seen. They played virtually arrhythmic sections of music with precision and finesse- the drummer played like a jazz drummer on crack, and the bass player (who doubled as vocalist, mind you) had a Rickenbacker jazz bass and the skills to use it. It was truly stunning- a rich, dark, full sound that was challenging, inviting, and technical. I could not get enough of their set, and their departure truly saddened me. - Independent Clauses


Our 2008 album "Cave Dweller" included in list. - Oklahoma Rock Dot Com


A little-used definition of the word "elegant" is "pleasingly ingenious and simple." It's that definition I think of when I characterize Scales of Motion's post-punk/rock/other mix as elegant. The three-piece takes very complicated, technical instrumental work and synthesizes it in a way that feels pleasing, clever and interesting. Even when the drummer is playing seemingly erratic hits, the guitarist is banging a distorted chord, and the bassist is tracking all over the fretboard, you can be assured that a resolution will arrive. And it most often does in an incredibly satisfying way.

The three members all contribute vocals to the mix, with bassist taking the sung vocals, the guitarist taking the spoken and yelled vocals, and the drummer providing back-up harmonies. This democratic distribution of vocals only serves to enhance the song-first motive that Scales puts out: all the band members are incredibly talented at their instruments, but each is subsumed into putting out good songs. And with all the technical, rhythmic and melodic complexity, the songs are unique and memorable. You can sing along to some songs; other songs skew too hard or too wild for anthemic melodies. But Scales of Motion makes room for all of it in their amalgam, and that's what makes them a consistently interesting band. - Oklahoma Gazette


"'Winter Heart,' 'Holier Mysteries' and 'A Better Dream' are some of the most satisfying rock tunes I’ve heard yet this year." - Independent Clauses


First, a brief but necessary history.

Nearly thirteen years have passed since I first met Chris and Kevin Skillern, the brothers that make up two-thirds of Tulsa alt-rock outfit Scales of Motion. Back then, they were plowing through some original pop-punk tunes under the name 77 Watts, with a fill-in drummer that was trying his hardest to keep up. Shortly after, the Skillerns scrapped 77 Watts in order to begin anew under the name At All Costs. At All Costs (which was seriously a fun band to watch) captured the attention of a few of us with their brand of fast-paced melodic rock, which was dubbed "speed-emo" by a group of their fans. After a slight adjustment of line-up, At All Costs released their final record, O, Precious Funnel Cloud, with drummer Craig Maricle, before disappearing yet again. They soon re-emerged once more as Scales of Motion, with a fresh batch of decidedly more sophisticated songs which showed tremendous musical growth and maturity.

Fast forward to the spring of 2011, when I recieved my pre-ordered copy of Scales of Motion's fourth studio record, Nocturnes. I had just enough time to load the record onto my music player before heading to the aiport to fly out of town. My flight, luckily, was delayed by an hour, which gave me just enough time to find a nice, quiet corner of the terminal in which to enjoy Nocturnes.

Kevin Skillern's guitar tone hasn't changed much in the last decade. So when the subdued but interesting opening guitar lines of the album's leading track, "Darkness," made their way to my ears, I couldn't help but grin a little at the familiarity. The driving, 6/8 ballad-esque "Darkness" opens the record much like a prologue to a good book, hinting at what's to come, without spoiling all the surprises. It's followed by "Still We Sing," which ends in Scales' own take on a wide-open "Hallelujah Chorus."

The duration of the record effectively showcases a remarkably wide range of musical capability. Ballads are followed by driving odd-metered numbers, which are then followed by straight-ahead rock tunes. Nocturnes in certainly for the listener who has an appreciation for real texture and dynamic.

The record's next-to-last track, "Phases," ended up as my favorite from Nocturnes. It opens up with some goosebump-inducing allusions to what has become Scales' signature song, "Make Me Glow," from 2008's Cave Dweller. "Phases" might be the band's most heartfelt songwriting effort to date, playing tastefully to the sentimental. It's a perfect example of their ambition to write songs that truly belong to their listeners, with words that some of us have uttered of our own accord, such as the recurring line "teach me to find hope in the darkest times."

Lyrically, Nocturnes is in a category of it's own. The entire record is decidedly Christian, but it lacks the tired cliches and generic religious babbling that's often found in the disconnected Christian artist that writes Christian music because he or she is just "supposed to." On the contrary, when you hear a lyric like "Help me stand alongside the outcast, the poor, and the small," you can't help but believe that these men write about what they are truly convicted of. This is particularly commendable for Scales, having been born out of a Christian music scene where most of their peers abandoned the practice of expressing their faith through music as soon as it stopped being the easiest way to gain an audience.

Another aspect of this record that I appreciated is the fact that these guys didn't write twelve random songs and throw them together and call it a record. The songs on Nocturnes belong together. Even deciding on the order of the songs has proved to have been an involved, artistic process.

Nocturnes was a long time coming. Chris, Kevin, and Craig poured themselves into this record for a very long time, and it's genuinely something to be experienced. However, I don't believe that it can be fully appreciated on its own. I know that a large part of my deep enjoyment of this record is the sentiment. Therefore, I certainly recommend buying Nocturnes, but I would also strongly recommend getting your hands on a couple of Scales' other offerings, in order to fully understand this latest stretch in their journey.

-JR - Ears Blog


Scales of Motion come from a different place in the indie rock spectrum. The three piece group composed of two brothers and a friend is motivated largely by faith. The band is technically a Christian group, but they're not preachy or in-your-face with their message. In fact, you might not even realize what they're singing about until you've already been reeled in by their pop hooks.

"We are most greatly influenced by God and what He has done in our lives," guitarist Kevin Skillern said. "God has given us the gift of music and we intend to use it in a way that gives to others and serves Him in return."

The band's lyrics touch on aspects of life that anyone, religious or not, can relate to. The song "A Better Dream", for instance, expresses the hunger many people have for something more than the shallow, materialism that's too often the focus of modern life. With a message that's as good as their music, Scales of Motion is destined for something special. - Urban Tulsa Weekly


Although Tulsa's indie-rock scene hasn't really dwindled, it appears to be on a downward cycle over the past year or so. In reality, it's as healthy as ever -- it's just cycling through with some bands falling away and other rising to the top. One band that seemed to have quietly disappeared, however, is back stronger than ever.

Scales of Motion never went away, mind you, it's just been busy. Brothers Kevin and Chris Skillern have been a band with drummer Craig Maricle for more than 10 years now. What started out as the pop-punk band At All Costs, eventually changed its name to Scales of Motion in 2004 as the group morphed into an indie-rock act that touched on post hardcore and a variety of other influences.

Over the years, the band has ebbed and flowed with the local scene and although it's live appearances have come in spurts over the past year or so, it's all for good reason. Aside from personal issues, including marriages, the band has been hard at work with Hank Charles at Valcour Sound putting together its latest CD, Nocturnes.

Amidst the local indie-rock scene, Scales of Motion has always stood out in my mind as one of the stronger acts, mixing an indie aesthetic with more textured and thoughtful arrangements and lyrics. With the release of Nocturnes, the band has finally captured that in a package that does justice to its live sound, yet expands upon that to take it even further.

Almost two years in the making, the Skillern brothers admit that this is their proudest release to date -- and the one they've spent, by far, the most time and effort on. Fortunately, the effort pays off. Consistent in tone and texture, the band builds upon the nighttime theme as Chris Skillern's lyrics center around faith and the relationship between God and man, making it something of a concept album, even though that was never the intention.

You'll definitely be hearing more from the band as this disc immediately jumps to the front of this year's local indie releases. As of now, however, you can get reacquainted with the band when it plays a CD release show this Friday night, April 15, at Ida Red. Admission is free for the show which features Motive For Movement and The Red Alert as openers with Scales of Motion headlining. Of course, Nocturnes will be available for $10 at the show, so grab it now and let it become a staple in your current playlist. - Urban Tulsa Weekly


"Scales of Motion was a slow wave of emotion and melody, rocking as they have for so long. The jams is rad, the dudes is cool, the vibe is mellow but stressful in unison, a perfect sound for a beach party in the middle of winter at a bar in a land locked state." - Blood Red Dirt (blog)


"[...]it's bands like Scales of Motion that leave showgoers scratching their heads and bumrushing the merch table. So when I heard that Scales would be in Columbus last month, I nearly jumped at the chance. The boys ripped through their set with dazzling ease. It’s very apparent that they’ve been playing together for quite some time." - Nicholas A. Messer - Ohio State University school paper


"Next was Tulsa’s own Scales of Motion. Their drummer did things I didn’t know possible. Bright melodies flew over powerful and heavy guitar playing. I have seen these guys many times over the years, and shared the stage with them a time or two, and they continue to progress in a tightness as a band that only comes after years of playing together. I am excited to see what is to come for them." - Chris McLeod - (A)Typical Spirituality (blog)


Discography

Self-Titled EP (2004)
Through a Glass, Dimly (2006)
Cave Dweller LP (2008)
Signs and Wonders EP (2010)
Nocturnes LP (2011)
Untitled LP (TBD 2013)

We have performed live on Fox 23 Tulsa's "Great Day Green Country," 91.3 fm (Claremore, Tulsa) and 97.5 fm (Tulsa), and our songs have been played on 91.3 fm, 104.5 fm (Tulsa), 97.5 fm, and The Buzz and The Spy in OKC.

Photos

Bio

Scales of Motion is an indie rock band from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The three of us, brothers Kevin and Chris Skillern and good friend Craig Maricle, started playing together way back in July of 2001 when we were just teenagers. We really love what we do and are so grateful to still be doing it after a dozen years. In our time together, we’ve played hundreds of local and regional shows, toured the Midwest, recorded multiple albums, opened for our musical heroes, and met and befriended countless amazing people and bands. Even after a decade, we still find excitement and joy in every endeavor. Every new song written is a chance to explore new sounds and influences. Every show and conversation is a chance to share and build community. In music, as in life, we hope to always be progressing. We believe in love, hope, friendship, and community, and we strive to write music that embodies those things. In 2011, we self-released Nocturnes, an album we feel is our most accomplished musical statement to date and one which pushes us in all sorts of new directions. As of April, 2013, we are in the process of writing and recording our next full-length, and we are so excited to share what we truly believe is our strongest material to date!

Achievements/Notable Tidbits:
- Voted Absolute Best Indie Rock Band of Tulsa for 2010 in Urban Tulsa Weekly's annual ABoT Music Awards. We were nominated again in 2011 and 2012.
- Shared the stage with Colour Revolt, mewithoutYou, Unwed Sailor, Ethan Durelle, Cool Hand Luke, Decahedron, Ester Drang, Victor Villarreal, Quiet Company, among many others.
- Members have also played in Damezumari, Copy Copy, Thirty Called Arson, Northern Regions (with John Moreland), and more.
- Played the Buffalo Lounge at SXSW 2012; Norman Music Fest 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013; Free Tulsa Music Fest 2011 and 2012