Remember the first time you ever saw Skunk Anansie? Lead singer Skin was unlike anyone else on the scene at the time; a scary looking woman with a shaved head, in camo trousers and Docs. You wouldn’t have wanted to bump into her on a dark night. The music no doubt went hand in hand with the look. These guys could rock, and it was clear from their debut album ‘Paranoid & Sunburnt’ that they were a band to watch out for. They had a harder edge than a lot of the other indie-rock stuff out at the time. Songs like ‘Selling Jesus’ and ‘Little Baby Swastikkka’ put them on the map. But whilst Skin had a great rock voice, songs like ‘Hedonism’ and ‘Secretly’ showed a different side to the band. These tender moments showed a more delicate side, and gave them some of their defining moments.
Can it really be over twenty years since that debut? Sadly, it was. Skin is now a judge on the Italian version of TV talent show ‘The Voice’. Hardly what you would expect from such a musical background. But selling out is in no way Skunk Anansie do.
In January they release their brand new album ‘Anarchytecture’, and guess what? These guys can still rock. Their sound stays faithful to that of their previous albums. But if it ‘ain’t broke, then don’t fix it, right? Their sound, and certainly Skin’s vocals are theirs and theirs alone. From the opening bars of recent single, and leading track ‘Love Someone Else’ it’s clear who you are listening to. It flips things on its head, with the lyrics ‘Stacey’s got a brand new girl’ and ‘Trevor’s got a brand new boy’. #lovewins. And what a track to make their comeback too. With the spoken word versus and big catchy chorus, it kicks the album off with a bang. From track one through the eleven track included there is little let up. But that’s what they do so well; mixing catchy pop hooks with guitars.
Being as big a fan of a power ballad as I am, the standout track for me is ‘Death To The Lovers’. It really captures the more tender side of Skin’s voice, and gives a welcome moment if reflection to proceedings. If you like things a bit heavier, then pay particular heed to ‘Victim’. It’s a monster of an indie-rock anthem that is as good as anything you’ll find on their greatest hits album ‘Smashes & Trashes,’ proving without doubt that they are as relevant today as they were on the release of their debut.
Before reviewing this album, I found myself delving into their Spotify page and reliving my youth through their old hits (try it, you’ll probably know more than you think you do). With this brand new album on the way, and a 2016 tour for us to look forward to, it’s never been a better time for Skunk Anansie or their fans. And this is really an album for the fans. It takes what have been doing since the start of their career, and adds to their already impressive back catalogue. If you’re a long term fan you won’t be dissapointed. If you liked a few of their songs in the past but kind of lost track of them, then give it a listen and remind yourself of what you’ve been missing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Qh540VY8I Check out more from Skunk Anansie on their Official Site