Skindred

Kill The Power

Written by: PP on 26/01/2014 15:02:53

With "Kill The Power", ragga-metallers Skindred have finally solved what has been their key problem ever since their debut: how to make their fantastic mix of dancehall, metal, reggae, hardcore, and funk that works so brilliantly live also make sense on record as a listening experience. Not only is "Kill The Power" their most varied album to date, but it also has some of the best Skindred songs to date, making this the first album by Skindred worth paying serious attention to outside the live circuit.

Skindred waste no time and open the album with the title track, which just might be the best song they have written to date. It contains every element we've grown to love about Skindred from the reggae to the metal to the dancehall, and of course, vocalist Benji Webbe's soulful experimentation with hip hop and reggae amidst his more funk-driven vocal delivery. Next up "Ruling Force" turns up the knob on club-electronics to the extent that the whole song sounds like a massive party, despite the nu-metal elements that the song otherwise possesses. "Playing With The Devil" starts out as a reggae-only song, which could conceivably appear on a ska/punk album at least in terms of Benji's vocal delivery. That is, until the bass drops, and we find ourselves in dubstep style broken modem effects that would make Skrillex jealous. It works, though, and the party continues onwards. "Ninja" then is more in line with classic Skindred material with its heavy guitars and catchy ragga chorus, but starting from "The Kids Are Right Now", Skindred start to experiment with their sound in a variety of ways that they possibly couldn't have dared to do in the past.

To call it very experimental for the band is an understatement. The aforementioned song sounds like it's referencing 80s pop during its chorus - before the club electronics take over halfway through the song, and classic 80s style pedal solo arrives shortly after. "We Live" continues on the pop track with its quiet ambiance and soothing backup vocals that wouldn't feel out-of-place on an indie rock album, before transforming into a bastardized version of Queen's material given its grandeur atmosphere. You certainly haven't heard Skindred sound like this before. "Saturday" feels almost like a pop punk song - it is in fact very similar to Fall Out Boy's track with the same name in its chorus - although of course also including nu-metal, ragga-metal, and heavy amounts of electronics in the song as well. "More Fireman" is also another playful electronic track lead by an acoustic guitar, before hitting a proper reggae feel shortly thereafter.

In general, "Kill The Power" is not only the most varied Skindred album, but possibly also their best one overall. Yes, there are moments especially on the second half of the album that push the band into a more melodic and mainstream direction than ever before, but all of it works so well when juxtaposed next to the crazy dancehall rhythms that are strongly present throughout the record. "Kill The Power" is potentially the most interesting album you'll hear in 2014.

8

Download: Kill The Power, Ruling Force, Ninja
For the fans of: Sonic Boom Six, Mindless Self Indulgence, (H.E.D.) Planet Heart, Random Hand, The Skints
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.01.2014
BMG / Napalm Records

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