After a hiatus that saw singer Skin embark on a solo career while her colleagues variously undertook session work, tuition and a prolonged stint on the Feeder drum stool, Skunk Anansie emerged sounding reinvigorated on 2010’s Wonderlustre.
Skunk Anansie: Black Traffic
Skin and co reap dividends on their first self-released album.
This fifth album builds on the confidence its predecessor engendered, moving the band (four original members and explosive chemistry all present and correct) toward shooting-at-the-stars epics. It’s an easy fit – the remarkable Skin was always a vocalist capable of singing out of her, well, skin, so the skyscraping ambition of these tunes is second nature.
The forcefulness is empowering on the unforgiving Sad Sad Sad – a stuttering beat, mewling harmonies, pulverising drive and Skin’s curdled bellow producing a vintage conflagration. The band’s martial attack finds phosphorescent focus in I Believed In You, a reminder of Skin’s ability to deliver an irrefutable kiss-off with lines such as ‘Let your blood flow freely so your voice can choke’ finding the bullseye.
The lady’s scale-soaring range and defiant spirit recall a metal-enhanced Eurythmics-era Annie Lennox. The warm and languorous I Hope You Get To Meet Your Hero, awash with cascading synthesised strings and growling bass, and the mesmerising finale Diving Down provide further highlights. Black Traffic, pretty terrific.