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Articles Home » 1993 Articles » Skindiver - 1993 Skindiver
Skindiver - 1993 Skindiver

ARTIST: Skin Diver (Jonah Koslen)
ALBUM: Skin Diver
LABEL: Avion
YEAR: 1993


LINEUP: Tony Dibenedetto - vocals * Jonah Koslen - all instruments except on 'Always' * Don Krueger - drums * Billy Sullivan - guitar * Scott Allen - bass * Peter Tokwr - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Janie Can't Wait * 02 Killer At Heart * 03 Pedal To The Metal * 04 Mothers Worst Nightmare * 05 Look Deep * 06 Burn It To The Ground * 07 Weekend Warrior * 08 Always * 09 Rock The Night Away * 10 Tokyo A Go-Go

My attention was immediately grabbed by the proverbial short and curlies when I read the magic words 'Jonah Koslen'. Suffice to say the man is highly revered amongst the AOR community, his reputation as a great song-writer consolidated by his work with The Michael Stanley Band, Breathless et al. The album essentially appears to be a vehicle for the considerable talents of a lead singer/producer Tony Dibenedetto (try pronouncing that surname after several beers..) and Jonah Koslen. Naturally as you would expect with Jonah Koslen's involvement with the project it has his indelible stamp of 'quality' written all over it. He in fact contributes his multi-instrumental and song-writing skills to the majority of tracks on the album. 'Enough of the blabbering Baldwyn', I hear you clamouring. 'What does it sound like?!!' Well to quote the liner notes, Skin Diver 'is one of America's most provocative powerhouse bands to hit radio in years.' Whilst I wouldn't quote the same hyperbole, my own humble assessment would be Hi tech AOR with balls (some might say that's an oxymoron!). Thankfully it isn't anywhere near as homogenized as some insipid fare offered up by lesser outfits. This is largely due to Jonah's turbo-charged performance on guitar where he effortlessly churns out the kind of riffs most guitarists can only dream about.

The Songs
Opener 'Janie Can't Wait' sounds similar to Robert Tepper circa 'No Easy Way Out' with a bombastic chorus reminding me of Breathless. The whole song is powered along by Jonah's muscular guitar as is 'Killer At Heart', 'Pedal To The Metal' and 'Mother's Worst Nightmare'. The latter with it's tongue surely placed firmly in it's cheek. The wholesome Mr Dibenedetto doesn't exactly look like Freddy Krueger. At least that's what my mother-in-law says! Speaking of Tony Dibenedetto, he's a fine singer who's voice perfectly suits the music. In fact in places he reminds me of What If vocalist Tommy Funderburk. The pace slows momentarily for the brooding atmospherics of 'Look Deep' and then it's full throttle again for the anthemic 'Burn It To The Ground' and 'Weekend Warrior'. There's also the immaculate AOR power ballad of 'Always' followed by the powerhouse 'Rock The Night Away'. The album finishes all too soon with the brief instrumental 'Tokyo A Go-Go'.

In Summary
This album is a must for Jonah Koslen and Breathless fans, though sadly, I'd say that Osama Bin Laden/Lord Lucan would probably be far easier to track down. Sadly to my knowledge this appears to have been a one-off project, though maybe Mr Koslen could enlighten us?

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#1 | Jez on June 14 2008 16:08:39
Hi-Tech AOR is the name of the game with a Leppard feel on a couple of tracks aswell. 'Janie Can't Wait' is a terrific opener. Other key moments - 'Killer At Heart', 'Pedal To The Metal', 'Look Deep' & the Lepp like 'Burn It To The Ground . The only two real letdowns are 'Mothers Worst Nightmare' & the very weak 'Weekend Warriors'. Good Stuff
#2 | Nick C on September 03 2008 01:33:05
Jonah Koslen is a bity of a hero and I grabbed this after finding out about it here at GDaze...I also asked Jez's opinion too...and he's gone and added a comment....take a bow GDaze n JezDaze!
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