Skindred are a band that have been around for over a decade, but for some reason, no one in America seems to know this band and even if they do, it clearly isn’t making a difference because visibility in the States is so slim (they’re currently gearing up for a tour where they are main support for Seether and Black Stone Cherry, which I believe is heinous, but we’ll talk about this later).
Never before has a metal band successfully married reggae, rap, and dub influences in one successful manifestation quite like Skindred, which is what makes this band so incredibly unique. There are moments where the band can be bone-crushingly heavy, then in the next song, the band will sit back and let the electronics take over while the rest of the band provides a solid backbone. Either way, there’s always this nu-metal style bounce that emanates on every track on every album. These traits are no different on the band’s fifth and newest record, Kill the Power. It’s a very diverse and heavy album that will surely please even the most casual of Skindred fans (all though to be honest, I’ve never met just a casual Skindred fan).
I think every album has been better than its predecessor and the band completely stepped up their game with Union Black, and while I think Kill the Power is incredibly strong, I don’t think it will be able to top Union Black (in my mind at least. This album is definitely almost on par though). The use of electronics and dub step has increased with every album and really controls a good portion of this one (especially on “The Kids are Right Now” and “Dance with the Devil”). Excluding the electronics, this is still an incredibly strong Skindred album through and through. Some of the best songs of the band’s career are on this album including “Ninja” and “Ruling Force.” From the second the album starts, you’re hit the face with this unimaginable force of different styles of music blended together in a way you probably thought wasn’t possible…until now. Skindred are a genre of one and that’s exactly what I love about this band.
As I mentioned earlier, the band are getting a lot of U.S. exposure this year. They are main support for Seether and Black Stone Cherry, which I think is very wrong because these bands could not be more opposite and many of Seether and Black Stone Cherry’s fans probably won’t get into Skindred and vice versa. I guess any publicity is good publicity though and as long as they’re playing and getting the exposure, then that’s good enough. There is a silver lining in all this because Skindred are set to play Rock on the Range this year, which means that if you’re reading this, then it is in your best interest to attend this concert and see their set. Do yourself a favor and listen to some good music by one of the world’s great live acts.