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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Skindred - Kill The Power review



Band: Skindred
Album title: Kill The Power
Label: DoubleCross Records
Genre : ....
Country: Wales
Release date: 27th Jan 2014

First off, this isn't the belter I was expecting. No, in fact it is way beyond my wildest expectations. I genuinely thought that Skindred had reached their creative zenith with previous release "Union Black" and it is a true delight to be proved wrong. Skindred deliver the goods here with all of the swagger of a band completely confident in their ability to write great songs and safe in the knowledge that they are not bound by such trivialities as genres. If "Union Black" was the band's breakthrough album, then this should be the one that propels them to the very top of festival line-ups in the UK and across Europe. Whether it does or not, remains to be seen.

Skindred are, without a doubt, one of the most interesting, fresh, exciting and innovative bands that Britain has to offer today. The songs are almost offensively catchy and set up camp in your brain instantly and refuse to leave. They prove, yet again, that they are absolute masters of their craft. This is easily the band's most accomplished album to date and the effortless genre-hopping takes yet more one step forward, making each and every song feel the musical equivalent of acute schizophrenia (I imagine). If you've ever played the game DJ Hero, then you might have an idea of what to expect as you would be forgiven for thinking that you're listening to a 'mash-up' compilation rather than an album recorded by just one band. With styles ranging from Metal, Reggae and early 90's Techno to Ragga, Northern soul, old-school Hip-Hop and even that most modern of trends, dubstep, it is abundantly clear that Skindred have no interest in limiting themselves as artists.

All of the aforementioned genres are blended seamlessly and with apparent ease to create the masterpiece that is the finished product. Electronic beats and scratching sit comfortably alongside 8-bit computer bleeps and the smooth Reggae vocals sound completely at ease with crushing Metal riffs. That they can pull all of this off while managing to never sound contrived or forced, is absolutely astonishing and is one of the things that makes this band unique. As if this all of this wasn't enough on its own (what more do you want?), the lyrics walk a line between politics, social commentary and personal empowerment. I defy you to listen to the entire album without it putting a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Such is the power of music - and music just doesn't come with much more energy, positivity and passion than this.

Overall: 9/10

Tracklist:

Kill The Power
Ruling Force
Playing With The Devil
Worlds On Fire
Ninja
The Kids Are Right Now
We Live
Open Eyed
Dollars And Dimes
Saturday
Proceed With Caution
More Fire


Official website: http://www.skindred.net