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Skunk Anansie: Black Traffic

Album Reviews:

Kerrang (Magazine) (p.53) - "[T]he riffs are now back....'Satisfied?' fizzes with punk-ish energy, but they've also retained the subtleties and diversity."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.96) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] pulverising female vocals and pop-rock guitar licks..."

Album Notes

After an eight-year hiatus, '90s Brit-rock veterans Skunk Anansie have wasted little time in regrouping for the second album since reconvening back in 2009. Like its predecessor, Wonderlustre, their fifth studio album, Black Traffic, proves that not all reunions need to end in legacy-destroying disaster. Produced by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro), there's little amongst its 11 tracks that would have sounded out of place during their chart-bothering heyday, but then their thrilling blend of dub-metal, feminist rock, and orchestral tearjerkers always sounded ahead of the curve anyway. Their more riotous moments are still as striking as Skin's shaven-headed appearance. "I Will Break You" bursts out of the block with its blistering riffs, throbbing percussion, and tortured yelps. The frenetic glam-tinged "Sad Sad Sad" and the venomous "Spit You Out," a collaboration with French audio-visual collective Shaka Ponk, are both exhilarating ventures into dance-rock, while "Sticky Fingers in Your Honey" and "Satisfied?" see them at their moshpit-inducing finest. But few bands manage to switch from raw aggression to pure vulnerability as effortlessly as the Anansie. "Hedonism," "Brazen (Weep)," and "Secretly" remain their finest hours, but there are a couple of challengers here for their heartbreaking ballad crown, the gorgeous string-soaked "I Hope You Get to Meet Your Hero" and the melancholic R&B-tinged closer "Diving Down," both of which confirm Skin's status as one of the most beautifully emotive rock vocalists the U.K. has ever produced. It doesn't quite hit the consistent heights of Stoosh or Post Orgasmic Chill, but Black Traffic more than justifies Skunk Anansie's re-existence. ~ Jon O'Brien


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