Volume Is A Loud, Clear New Statement From Skindred

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Late last year Skindred released its latest full-length studio recording to its fans.  Volume, the band’s sixth full-length studio effort, That’s quite a statement from a band that originally formed right at the cusp of the “musical gold rush of 2000” (as this critic has come to coin it).  The album, with its hybrid sound and its equally attention-grabbing lyrical content, is another example of why the Welsh rock outfit has outlasted so many others of its ilk and gone on to remain a fan favorite even without support from mainstream rock outlets.  This is clear right off the top in the album’s socio-politically charged opener ‘Under Attack.’  The album’s title track is another of the album’s strong points.  ‘Shut Ya Mouth,’ with its mix of social commentary and funk-infused hard rock makes it yet another standout moment from this record.  All three songs are clear examples of what makes Volume another solid offering from Skindred.  Those songs, when set alongside the album’s remaining eleven songs (technically eight songs since three of those eleven are short interludes), make Volume one a record that every rock aficionado will want to turn on and *ahem* turn up.

Skindred’s sixth full-length studio recording Volume is quite the statement from the band.  That is because in itself it shows the band’s longevity and the love and respect that fans have for the Welsh rock act.  The album’s overall content exhibits this even more right from the album’s hard rocking opener ‘Under Attack.’  Guitarist Mikey Demus, drummer Arya Goggin and bassist Dan Pugsley set the tone for the song in its opening bars before front man Benji Webbe comes in with his hard-hitting lyrics.  What audiences will appreciate about this song is the ability of Webbe’s band mates to capture the urgency of Webbe’s message.  The message in question seems to center on the state of the nation and the damage being done to the country because of that divisiveness.  This is illustrated as Webbe raps in the song’s lead verse, “Now if you really want war/You’ve got to be sick/All of the people/They need to hear this/From the sound of the rhythm/You can’t refuse it/Shocking, dropping wrongs and killing/Graduation that’s what we want/F*** the nation/That’s not the answer/They’re coming at you with shots in the dark/And the shot that dem ah give you/Ah go rip out your heart.”  He seems to be addressing people on both sides of the nation’s debates in this one verse alone.  And if that is the case then it’s quite the clear and efficient way of doing so.  Not to mention it is a powerful statement in itself.  The message is illustrated even more in the song’s second verse in which Webbe raps, “We ah go stack dem 5,7, and 8/No bother with the badness, man/We don’t appreciate/We ah go mark them 6, 7, and 9/Put them on the hit list every time/Life’s at stake and everyone’s shaking/Dancehall breaking/Everyone’s faking/It’s going down now/It’s going down now/It’s going down down da down da down.”  He and his band mates accent the message in these verse even more in the song’s chorus in which they ask, “Who’s gonna help take care of all of them?” before Webbe responds, “And now I realize you can’t cut me down to size/And now I realize we’re under attack.”  The song’s final verse echoes the sentiment established in its lead and second verse with that same sort of awareness of what is going on and correlating message of concern.  It’s not the first time that a band or performer has ever crafted a song that raises awareness about serious socio-political issues.  Despite that, the manner in which it is delivered here makes the song original in its own right.   It shows in its own way why despite being labeled to this day as nu metal and rap metal the band has outlasted its counterparts and still stands tall even without help from mainstream music outlets.  It’s just one example of why Volume is a welcome return for the band and why it is a record that every rock aficionado will want to turn on and turn up.  Audiences can view the song’s video online now via Napalm Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkJuB656AVc.  The album’s title track is another of its strong points.

‘Under Attack’ is a strong opener for Skindred in its latest full-length release Volume.  That is exhibited both through the song’s heavy musical arrangement and its equally interesting socio-politically charged lyrical theme.  As important as it is to the album’s overall presentation it is just one of the album’s strong points.  The album’s title track is another of its strong points.  Unlike the album’s opener this song takes a completely different lyrical tone while maintaining the album’s heavy sound.  This song lyrically comes across more as a declaration than anything else as Webbe raps, “And so again you know we’re on it/Don’t even bother trying to tell me to stop it/I’ll take them straight to the hanging tree/This is the sound that makes me nasty/Nobody ramp with this sound quality/Believing in the rockers and the rhythm that’s in me/We come to rock your spot/Bring the energy.”  In case there was any doubt left by this verse Webbe and company go on to sing outright later in the song, “Play your music every day/Woop/Gotta keep it loud now/Play your sound and feel no way/Woop woop/Gotta keep it loud now/I can’t keep it down.”  This is a blatant response to those that would tell the masses not to give in to those that think certain parties’ music is too loud.  As a well-known figure once said, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old!”  For all intents it is an anthem for the rock and metal masses alike in response to their detractors.  The intensity of the song’s musical arrangement makes the song even harder-hitting, showing once again why it is another of the album’s strong points. Audiences can view this song’s companion video online now via Napalm Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vKPnLhmyBs and via the band’s official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/skindredofficial. It isn’t the last of the album’s strong points either.  The social commentary and equally positive message of ‘Shut Ya Mouth’ coupled with the song’s musical arrangement makes it one more solid of the album’s most notable moments.

‘Under Attack’ and ‘Volume’ are solid additions to Skindred’s latest album.  That is because of the combination of their musical and lyrical content.  While both songs are key in exhibiting what makes Volume such a welcome return for Skindred, they are hardly the only songs that could be cited in making this argument. ‘Shut Ya Mouth’ is another prime example of what makes Volume worth at least one listen. In regards to its musical arrangement its tempo is less than that of ‘Under Attack’ and ‘Volume.’ Even with a slower tempo it is no less impacting. Drummer Arya Goggin sets the song’s tone with a solidly timed beat before Demus, Webbe and bassist Pugsley come in to round out the song’s musical base. The song builds even more from here until it reaches its peak in its chorus at which point the band absolutely lets loose. That gradual growth of power in the song’s musical arrangement is important to the song in its own right. However when examining the song’s lyrical content it becomes even more important. That is because it serves to better illustrate said content. The verses send a message of positivity as exhibited in the song’s lead verse. Webbe raps here, “You see the difference between you and me/Is that I like you/But you don’t like me/Face each day optimistically/Breath and talk a lot of positivity/If anything bad it’s gonna happen to me/That’s not the attitude seriously/Nah, not the way to perceive it/If they tell you so don’t believe it.” The musical backing to this and each of the song’s verse is straight forward but with a groove that will keep listeners engaged. It helps to establish that straightforward tone in the song’s verses. In the same vein, the pummeling energy of the song’s musical arrangement in its chorus illustrates the energy and emotion there, too. Webbe raps in the chorus, “Shut your mouth boy/come out of here/Shut your mouth boy/Come out of here/We tell them/Do you hear me, hear me now/You won’t break this/Here’s my raised fist/And I’m telling you no, no, no.” Webbe means business as he delivers these lines. And that is quite clear, again, thanks to the song’s musical arrangement. The back and forth of the song’s musical and lyrical content continues throughout the course of the song’s nearly four-minute run time. And over that time it keeps listeners completely engaged especially thanks to the overall positive vibe established through both elements. Taking that into consideration the song shows why, once again, it is another key example of what makes Volume a welcome return for Skindred. Alongside ‘Under Attack,’ ‘Volume,’ and the remainder of the album’s eight full-length tracks (again there are eleven other tracks on this record but only eight are full-length songs) the album shows in whole to be a record that any real rocker will want to turn on and turn up.

Skindred’s sixth full-length record Volume is an impressive new release for the Wales-based band. That is not just because of the fact that the band has made it this far without help from major mainstream rock outlets but also because the band has managed to impress yet again with this latest offering. That is clear in the combination of the album’s musical and lyrical content. It is exemplified in the album’s opener ‘Under Attack,’ its title track, and the equally engaging ‘Shut Ya Mouth.’ All three songs are in their own way solid offerings from the album. Together with the rest of the album’s full-length songs the album in whole proves to be a welcome return for the band and a record that every real rocker will want to turn on and turn up. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered via iTunes and Amazon direct via the band’s official website. More information on Volume is available online now along with all of Skindred’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.skindred.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/skindredofficial

 Twitter: http://twitter.com/skindredmusic

 

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