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Skintrade - 'Refuelled'

posted 10 Mar 2014, 16:36 by Paul Woodward
(AOR Heaven)

Review by Woody

The Matti Alfonzetti fronted Skintrade return after a lengthy hiatus with an all new album Refuelled. The Swede’s experienced some success in the nineties and even hit the road with the likes of Motorhead and Therapy? Given the current positivity surrounding much of Alfonzetti’s recent musical output with various bands, and quite rightly too, it was inevitable Skintrade would be lead back into the light for another crack of the whip.

I’m a massive fan of Alfonzetti’s powerful vocals and I loved the Jagged Edge album from way back in the day but most recently he has been involved in some cracking albums like his last solo one and the Red, White and Blues album with fellow Jagged Edge axe man Myke Gray. So I was rather looking forward to hearing this one, but was instantly disappointed! Skintrade are very much an alternative rock act with a strong grunge side and I found the album often very bleak and depressing. After a few listen’s it did grow on me slightly but it seriously lacks any hooks therefore rendering most the songs ineffectual and unmemorable therefore making it a distinctively average album.

Alfonzetti sounds great and some of the riffs from guitarist Stefan Bergstrom have a great driven energy to them, but in the end the songs lack the desired punch to make you enjoy them and fully acknowledge the obvious talents and skills of the band members. The use of ‘vocal effects’ doesn’t endear me either whilst making the songs edgy and alternative it really distracts from the power and emotion Alfonzetti usually shows.

Maybe it’s too alternative, too raw, and too bleak for my tastes, I’m not sure but Refuelled very rarely hits my spot. Picking the stronger songs is quite easy here the opening duo ‘Monster’ and ‘Liar’ make an intriguing opening, but both songs lack that something special to hook you in totally – If you’re looking for big choruses move along swiftly there is nothing here for you. The best chorus appears on the mid-paced ballad ‘Dying In Your Arms’, but the voice effects during the verses really hinders the songs impression on me.

This one is only really for fans of Alt rock; grunge and perhaps Stabbing Westward as a lot of the guitar riffs really remind me vividly of that band. It’s got plenty of crunching guitars, strong vocals, and aggressive edge but ultimately given to the dark nature of the songs I think you really need to like grunge, especially the likes of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Not for me sadly, but it’s good to see Alfonzetti flexing his musical versatility even if it don’t get my blood pumping.

Track Listing: Monster / Liar / Pay In Blood / Hardcore MF Heart attack / Close My Eyes / Getting Away With Murder / Mountain / Been To The Bottom / Worse Than Wasted / Dying In Your Arms / Wild One / Look Me In The Eye

Album Rating: 4/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Liar

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