For the past couple of albums critics have said “this will be the one to knock Skindred into the mainstream”, which may have influenced 2014’s Kill The Power to lean towards the radio friendly side. But really, it doesn’t feel like the reggae-metal crew have ever tried to be mainstream… they’re just Skindred.
Volume, the band’s sixth album, feels free from media pressure to become the next big thing, instead confidently it’s just another quality Skindred album. That means it contains mammoth choruses, sing-a-longs for days and bouncy riffs proportionate to the Himalayas. For those uninitiated to the band, this is as good an album to start with as any to get into their explosive blend of nu(ish) metal and reggae.
Volume explores more of the dancehall and electronica sides of reggae with excellent results. The electronic break in the middle of opening rager ‘Under Attack’ will make you throw some mental shapes, and unconventional influences also pop up through Benji Webbe’s unique vocal lines on the title track and ‘Sound Siren’.
The addition of broader reggae influences haven’t halted the metal though, with the aforementioned ‘Under Attack’ featuring one of the biggest riffs under the bands belt (which you know is a big shout if you’re familiar with their back catalogue) and the album follows suit with ‘Hit The Ground’ and ‘The Healing’. This is one of the most consistent riff-o-rama records that Skindred have put out. Plus their great interludes are back, à la their debut album.
What works best on this album, and for Skindred in general, is when this eclectic collection of influences comes together. That’s what this band are all about; in a sense they’re the Large Hadron Collider of music, throwing together great elements of every genre to get to the bottom of what music is all about: unity and having fun.
Jack King @