Between their reputation for outrageously fun live shows and their peerless ragga-punk stylings, Skindred are something of a unappreciated national treasure. Demolishing festival fields and routinely taking apart venues up and down the country, it is baffling that the inimitable four piece don’t seem to shift as many units or garner as much air time as their irresistible anthems deserve. Thankfully, Benji Webb and the boys have no interest in pandering for radio plays or headline status, with ‘Volume’, the bands sixth full length, finding the guys in predictably raucous form and tapping a rich vein of sonic diversity.
Indeed, Skindred have never sounded more ready to take on the world, from aptly named opener ‘Under Attack’ and ‘Straight Jacket’s schizoid stomp the record is a blizzard of techni-colour dynamics and stadium sized tunes. Pristinely produced and featuring all the contemporary bells and whistles (touches of dance, drum ‘n’ bass, electronics), the rampaging instrumental backdrop is as explosive and mischievously genre splicing as ever, metallic bombast (‘Volume’) and grandstand swagger (‘Shut Ya Mouth’) providing a platform for the irrepressibly focal point of ringleader Webb, who stamps his lyrical fire, nudge-wink humour and incisive melodies all over ‘Volume’ with effortless aplomb.
As ever, what Skindred have delivered here is masterclass in moving bodies and lifting spirits. Encapsulating all the europhic energy and dance-floor mania that we see onstage, every track here is conceived and executed with the audacity and bravado of a band well aware of that they are doing it better and bolder than almost everyone else. Skindred are one of a kind, and ‘Volume’ is modern rock music at its most exciting.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)