Skindred – Kill The Power


Review by Ian Savage

If ever there was a band whose time to shine has come, that band is Skindred. In the two decades since frontman Benji Webbe first started melding metal, reggae and punk as part of the sadly-overlooked Dub War, his outfits have never shied away from letting electronic instrumentation take equal footing with distorted guitars and heavy rhythms; as many eyes turn away from ‘been-there-done-that’ mainstream rock units on major tours and festival bills, the stage is surely set for an experienced act who can appeal to old-school metalheads and dubstep-acquainted yoofs alike.

Kill The Power stakes Skindred’s claim to that stage from the off. The opening title track’s strident “Ain’t no killing what cannot be killed…you know you can’t kill the power” motif surfs astride monstrous guitars and rumbling dub basslines, instantly becoming this reviewer’s in-car ‘f*ck you’ anthem and setting out the band’s stall perfectly. Follow-up ‘Ruling Force’ rolls in on a squalling metal riff, briefly settling over an electronic-backed rapped verse before a grinding growled metal chorus, superbly showcasing Skindred’s genre-hopping versatility and bassist/programmer Dan Pugsley’s deft touch for arrangement.

The band’s reggae influence rears its welcome head on ‘World’s On Fire’ and ‘Dollars And Dimes’; ‘Ninja’ is as slinkily brutal as the title demands; ‘Proceed With Caution’ unleashes levels of riffage not heard from Skindred since their 2002 debut. There’s even a couple of straight-up potential hit singles in the mix – with the right exposure ‘We Live’ and ‘Saturday’ could smother the airwaves and have club-goers cheering their opening bars by Easter, the former’s massive-yet-melancholy vibe and the latter’s infectious blend of four-chord punk, huge hooklines and modern dub/electronic flourishes providing ideal intelligent dancefloor fodder.

Okay, there’s a couple of tracks which aren’t up to the massively high standard set by the rest of the album, which prevents it from being an out-of-the-ballpark 10/10. Skindred are their own barometer though, as there’s no other band on the planet doing what they do. Kill The Power sets the bar incredibly high for 2014; to every other modern rock band, the message is clear: BRING IT.

Skindred - Kill The Power9.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Kill The Power
  2. Ruling Force
  3. Playing With The Devil
  4. World’s On Fire
  5. Ninja
  6. The Kids Are Right Now
  7. We Live
  8. Dollars And Dimes
  9. Saturday
  10. Proceed With Caution
  11. More Fire



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