Kurt Vile & the Violators
Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN - 5/12
Written by: PP on 10/10/2012 06:23:05
Iconic female-fronted metallic rockers Skunk Anansie are back with their 5th studio album only two years after their reunion album "Wonderlustre", which followed a decade-long hiatus while vocalist Skin enjoyed her brazenly shaven head and a (failed) solo career. Although Skunk Anansie are a long ways from their classic album "Post Orgasmic Chill", "Black Traffic" demonstrates that the British 90s legends still seem to be in quality form even after all these years (the band members are pushing 50).
"Black Traffic" is an intriguing album because it's not the chart rock album everyone was expecting it to be, and instead opts for a far more confrontational and heavier stance instead, taking it almost into metal and industrial territory on a couple of tracks. Lead singer Skin delivers a signature performance that, I admit, isn't for everyone, if for no other reason than the sheer amount of rebellion and high-pitch action going on. But it does carry a certain amount of feminist aggression that just doesn't come across in the same annoying way as your usual Riot Grrrrl type of bands, so that's where Skin and therefore Skunk Anansie stand different from the rest of the female-fronted pack. Oh, and at least no-one can be complaining that she doesn't have enough power in her pipes to front a rock band, which is a common issue with female vocalists in general. I mean god damn, "I Will Break You" will leave the vast majority of her male peers in the cold in terms of reach and range, and "I Believed In You" will display her capacity as an 80s pop star, except in a glam rock setting. That it also sticks into your memory in an instant only speaks of her vocal talent.
"Black Traffic" is also an interesting album because of how unmistakable sound it owns as a result of the Skunk Anansie legacy from the 90s. I mean, how many bands do you know who sound even remotely like this band does? With the all-powerful vocals, a heavy alternative rock instrumental backing, and often punk-inspired tempo to many songs, with plenty of influence from industrial rock, glam rock, 80s rock, and a bunch of other things. That it also manages to translate into great songs, well, that's the reason Skunk Anansie are about to headline one of the largest venues here in Denmark in the coming month. Surprisingly excellent for a band many consider to be a dinosaur in 2012.
Download: I Will Break You, Sad Sad Sad,
For the fans of: Guano Apes, B. Impatient, Sandra Nasic
Release date 17.09.2012