Skindred have shared their latest album, Smile, amongst a plethora of high-stakes festival slots and rightly won award of Best Live Act at the Heavy Metal Music Awards. In a perfectly timed drop, the Heavy Metal reggae sensation release their record as a token of their boundless invigoration. And if there were ever a title to best describe an album, then Smile would be it.
Skindred – Smile (Earache Records)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Monty Sewell
Benji Webbe and his band of faithful heavy music warriors (Daniel Pugsley on bass, programming, Mikey Demus on guitars and Arya Goggin on drums) launch into their eighth album, 12-song wrap with Our Religion. A declaration of insanity within its magnificence, the track is a head-nutting vibe creator with Webbe’s diverse vocals as hardly astute as ever.
Gimme That Boom and Set Fazers are the top-level chart highlights, proclaiming themselves to be audible demonstrations of how Skindred brings the essence of their live shows into their studio recordings. L.O.V.E. (Smile Please) leans into full reggae mode but with such a quenchless chorus line that it is impossible not to get on board.
Skindreds ability to fuse genres with such fiery vivacity comes to a head with drum n’ bass raver Life That’s Free before the record dips its suave-edged toes back into a deep, reggae rock lake with This Appointed Love.
Skindred will play their largest headline shows in March 2024. Dates are set for Wembley OVO, Manchester and Birmingham. Tickets go on general sale at 10 am Monday, 7 August.
“Standing on that stage is a mark of sheer hard work,” Benji told MetalTalk of the OVO Wembley Arena show. “We have stood upon that stage supporting many truly great acts. Now it’s Skindred’s time to take the headline slot.
“You may think you’ve seen us. However, this is our opportunity to rise and step up like never before. We come to take over and truly come to rock Wembley with a heart full of gratitude and a set full of the most rockin’ tunes that we have ever played live.
“Unity, love and togetherness. Let’s ‘ave it. Quadruple XL.”
If I Could is fantastically emotive, with soaring vocals from Webbe and a gusty riff anchoring the track down. Black Stars rips out of the front running rock’ n’ roll siren gate whilst State of the Union gives off a summertime margaritas beside the beach feel.
Addicted stands true to its name before what I can only describe as a song dedicated to a woman of great magnitude: Mama. The album finishes on Unstoppable. Symbolisation is an understatement, as those last notes leave nothing but a hefty thirst for more Skindred.
Smile just does it and does it good. As the band continues on their seemingly unending travelling tour, it is only a matter of time before they visit your part of town, and when they do, be sure to jump on that ticket link. Whatever your music taste, genre preference, or good time partiality, Skindreds Smile is just undeniably good. It’ll leave nothing but the title on your face.