Friday, August 29, 2014

SKINTRADE: "Refueled"

Rating: RRR

Label: AOR Heaven
Review: Rich Dillon

It’s always rather interesting when a band’s release is billed as a reformation and comeback album, yet you’ve never heard of them before this.  Being from Canada that was the case for me with Swedish rockers Skintrade and their February/March 2014 released Refueled album.  The band was originally formed in 1992 issuing two albums, Skintrade in 1993 and Roach Powder in 1995.  Four of the five original members, Matti Alfonzetti (vocals/guitar), Stefan Bergstrom (guitar, backing vocals), Hakan Calmroth (bass) and Hakan Persson (drums, backing vocals) reformed in 2011 due in part to demand from the fans.  Only George Bravo (guitars, backing vocals) was absent from the reformation causing Alfonzetti to take over Bravo’s guitar duties.

With uninspiring album artwork, the twelve track “comeback” album starts off crashing with the high energy of “Monster”.  The album follows suit filled with fast paced straight ahead hard rock anthems like “Liar” and “Pay In Blood”.  “Hardcore MF Heartattack” is the standout track for me here with it’s breakneck pace (your head should be banging and neck definitely sore by this point of the album).  “Close My Eyes” begins slower and more melodic before erupting with a grinding riff before the one minute mark and “Getting Away With Murder” starts out with a throbbing talkbox riff.  By the time I get to “Mountain” the songs are beginning to get lost in one another and sounding very much the same, even the ballady “Been to the Bottom” fails to hold my interest.  “Worse Than Wasted” (possibly a theme song for my younger days) followed by “Dying In Your Arms” perks me up again, but its short lived as “Wild One” is probably the worst cut in the collection.  The final track, “Look Me In the Eye”, shuts things down on a high note as this track could have replaced a few others earlier in the roster.

Definitely some great songs and potential for the future….let’s see what you got next Skintrade.

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