ALBUM REVIEW: Ho99o9 – Skin


The revolution has been a long time coming.

It has been over thirty-five years since Anthrax ode to the Beastie Boys ‘I’m The Man’ laid the foundations for the much more widely celebrated and successful crossover collaboration with Public Enemy, ‘Bring The Noise’. Since then, integration of beats, metal, black and urban musical cultures has been threatened, and, despite a burst in the nineties (Pitchshifter, Atari Teenage Riot, et al, as well as the appropriation of The Prodigy into our world, and releases like Nine Inch NailsFixed – all on a much more mainstream and palatable style than the hardcore destruction of Ho99o9), and sporadic standalone artists in between, it is only as we stumble through our modern-day hell with albums like Code Orange’s Forever and acts like Backxwash that it seems that the ideas and opportunities of such fusion are being revisited with violent intent.

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Skunk Anansie Stream New Single – “What You Do For Love”


Legendary UK Rock band Skunk Anansie have shared a brand new single! ‘What You Do For Love’ had its world exclusive first play on Jo Whiley’s BBC Radio 2 show last night. The track is heavy, catchy and political, all the things SA have been known for in 25 years. ‘What You Do For Love’ is the first new music from the band since 2016’s Anarchytecture album and comes a week after they started their huge European headline tour accompanied by Queen Zee and Black Orchard Empire on support., which celebrates the release of the 25LIVE@25 album earlier this year.Continue reading


Skunk Anansie – 25Live@25


I must confess, writing about Skunk Anansie’s 25Live@25 (Republic of Music) is mega hard. I keep jumping up and dancing about the flat, singing loudly and off-key. I’ve been listening to Skunk Anansie since 1995 with the song ‘Selling Jesus’. They haven’t disappointed. They don’t disappoint with this live retrospective either. If you are a major Skunk-head, you are going to flat-out love this album. If you are a newbie, welcome! You are going to love this album. Continue reading


Skunk Anansie – Anarchytecture


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Skin could sing a Health and Safety policy, replete with appendices, and make it sound heartfelt, deep and relevant, so it’s little surprise that she is, once again, the undoubted star of Skunk Anansie’s new album Anarchytecture (Spinefarm), their third since reforming and sixth overall. Showing a more considered side, though resplendent in the 90’s production tones their angsty rock used to be defined by, this time around Skunk Anansie are dialling back the vitriol.

While it is hard not to compare where they are now with who they were then, surely a band is only judged against who they were if their current output doesn’t stack up? So, while perhaps only Led Zeppelin should expect the song to remain the same (even though theirs weren’t) and repetition leads only to contempt and ever diminishing returns in the world of musical delights, it is a shame that, once again, maturing or developing as songwriters doesn’t actually equate to better song-writing. In fact, maturity, or indeed banality sees a regression as, pleasant and deliberately crafted as the fare on offer is, other than the distinctive and excellent velvet of Skin’s timbre, Anarchytecture is complete wallpaper. And not even the crazy fucked up wallpaper your grandparents had from the 70’s, but magnolia.

Which isn’t to say there is a dearth of decent material, though, it’s just that all through we are greeted by inoffensive, pleasant if entirely competent and decent songs. Electro-tinged pop mingles with alt.rock.lite on ‘Love Someone Else’, a steady stroll that isn’t a million miles from where Madonna was around the turn of the millennium, ‘Beauty Is Your Curse’ jangles as Skin seems to get a little hot under the collar and ‘Death To The Lovers’ is a sparse, and emotive sensitive number, where once again Skin dazzles with delicacy. Yet high spots are scant, as the remainder of the album meanders away, until the excellent ‘Suckers!’ builds over the course of a minute and a half before cruelly, suddenly stopping in its tracks, replaced by close-but-no-cigar plod staccato ‘We Are The Flames’.

‘Little Baby Swastikkka’ turned heads, ‘Weak’ proved that vulnerability and power could dovetail exceptionally, ‘Hedonism’ was poppy-magic, ‘Charlie Big Potato’ shook things up, and Skunk Anansie were proudly, boldly different and defiant. Skunk Anansie used to be about statements. Musical, political, aesthetic, they made an impact. Anarchytecture simply shakes your hand and wishes you a good day. No matter the maturation process, there is no excuse for safe and uninspired songwriting.

 

5.5/10

STEVE TOVEY

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