Skindred - Kill The Power

Cooking Vinyl Records
Produced by James Loughrey

When listening to Skindred's new album Kill The Power, their fifth album to date, it's not hard to work out how exactly this band has worked its way so successfully into the UK rock/metal scene and furthermore, what actually makes this band so compelling to listen to. After a destructive set on the main stage of 2013's Reading and Leeds festivals, which was witness to thousands taking off their shirts and swinging them in the air, despite the majority at the time not being fans of the band, Skindred where no doubt on an all-time high and Kill The Power only strengthens this emerging domination.

The album opens up with single Kill The Power, which is surprisingly catchy for a song that includes the same sample as rap artist Kanye West, (Continent Number 6's Afromerica). The song is explosive in all ways possible from the fiery guitar and drum combination at the start of the song, to the anthem like chorus that clearly highlights the message of the band. It's clear to see why this song was chosen as the single and title track for the album. Second track Ruling Force continues with the aggressive, raw vibe of Kill The Power and despite the verses being slightly out of place, the premise of the song is extremely strong and overall it's a good follow up to the familiar and powerful vibe that is created from the lead single. Something that is oddly comforting when listening to Ruling Force is the incorporation of vocal screams that edges the band ever closer to the alt-metal genre.

One of the most interesting and unique elements of Skindred's music is arguably their strange but cleverly put together blend of Reggae and metal which has brought them so far since their first album, Babylon, in 2002. However despite the rapping style of vocalist Benji Webbe throughout the first two tracks on the album, it isn't until third track Playing With The Devil, where a more relaxed, Reggae atmosphere is created with skanking guitars and impressive Jamaican-influenced vocals. This strong, blatant Reggae influence is continued on Worlds On Fire where the track opens up to a light-hearted introduction followed by blistering guitars and that perfect fusing of rap and catchy choruses which has already been displayed on the album.

Second single Ninja continues with the aggressive angst of the previous four songs and includes all the elements of a great and successful single, once again the song continues to include some variant of gang vocal chants and a verse and chorus that somehow don't seem to fit. Unfortunately due to this, the idea that the songs so far on the album are a little repetitive does start to form, however any ideas of yet another album full of reincarnations of the same song are short-lived with The Kids Are Right which brings a fully developed guitar riff with elements of electronica, rather than the other way around, and a chorus that simply shows pure passion, an element of Webbe's vocal style that is often drowned out by the overall aggression of Skindred's music.

Despite the weak closing track More Fire, which seems extremely out of place on the album and arguably leaves the whole thing feeling unfinished, the remainder of the album has a strong and aggressive manner with tracks such as We Live ensuring that the album contains a variety of styles, whilst still including the fist pumping, energetic sound that the London based metallers have been doing so well for the past decade.

“ perfect fusing of rap and catchy choruses ”

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

Written by Ellis Davis
More: 2014, Albums, Alternative,

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