Album Review: Skindred - Smile
Reviewed by Tim Finch
Newport’s finest export Skindred have never been a band to do things by the book. For their entire career they have stood proud as a unique band with a unique sound, a band like not other and a band that no other would dare imitate. With album number eight, ‘Smile’, it is no different.
From the opening of ‘Our Religion’ the bands unique stamp continues on, a haunting echo lingers in the background throughout as the band deliver a harder hitting than usual anthem.
‘Gimme The Boom’ is already a staple of the bands live show, from its debut on their 2022 tour with Volbeat, this is one of those tunes that has crowd interaction all over it. From getting arena’s full of adoring fans to chant “Boom, Boom, Boom” it translates just as well on record. As you listen along you can’t help but tap that foot, bang that head and cry out “Boom, Boom, Boom” along with the master Benji Webb.
But it’s not all fast paced, blood pumping action, ‘If I Could’ adds softer elements to the sound, more heartfelt lyrics and great depth to the song as a whole, whilst ‘L.O.V.E. (Smile Please)’ really looks to the bands metal/reggae fusion roots, however this one leans far more on the reggae side of things.
‘State of the Union’ springs back adding an underlying political commentary to the bouncing tunes. Whilst album closer ‘Unstoppable’ has that dark undertone that makes their twist on heavy music so unique.
When ‘Smile’ hits the shelves (and streaming services) via Earache Records later this week, it will be a triumphant next step for a band riding the crest of a wave. Their popularity knows no end and ‘Smile’ will add to that, but as an album it’s moves the band forward, their sound a little more mature, more expansive and showing there is far more to be explored in the Skindred world.