For a band that has a career spanning 16 years and 5 studio albums, Skindred remain a far more obscure entity than they ought to be and it is certainly not because of a lack of talent. The Welsh band write music that borrows from a plethora of genres ranging from Metal, Reggae, Hip-Hop and Electronica which they have done to full effect in their latest offering, ‘Kill the Power’. The album sees them go overboard with experimentation. This, for the most part, produces some entertaining results.
The album kicks off with the title track which samples Cypress Hill as well as Kanye West’s “Power”. If one just listens to the verses of this song it would be easy to mistake it for a Hip-Hop tune but Skindred bring the rage in the chorus. “Ruling Force” is structurally similar to “Kill the Power” replacing the Hip-Hop verses with UK garage electronica inspired verses. They delve into dubstep in “Playing With the Devil” which is a purely electronic track save for a hint of distorted guitars during the bass drops. While dubstep has a tendency of being predictable and mundane, they keep it fresh enough for it to be a gratifying listen. Having some of the best lyrics on the album definitely does it no harm.
Skindred are known for their blend of Reggae and Metal, which they like to call “Ragga-Metal”. Without “Ragga-Metal” tracks a Skindred album would be incomplete. “Worlds on Fire”, “Ninja”, “Open Eyed” and “Proceed With Caution” pop up at different intervals in the album to sate the appetites of “Ragga-Metal” fans, with “Proceed With Caution” probably being the heaviest track Skindred have ever done.
While the album is interesting in most parts, some songs just don’t fit the overall sound of the album and end up being filler material. “We Live” and “The Kids Are Right Now” are too bland to be appealing as Skindred take a more traditional rock approach. Their attempt at ska ends up being tepid in “Saturday” and it ends up being probably the weakest track on the album.
“Kill The Power” is definitely an interesting album because on it Skindred achieve varying levels of success with their experimentation. If they keep what works and refine it to perfection, we might have a career defining sixth album for a strangely overlooked band. Till then, we have an inconsistent yet enjoyable album that has something to offer to everyone.
Rating – 7/10