Published Apr 25, 2018In a perfect world, Skindred would be headlining festivals and Big Tings would be an instant chart-topper. Sadly, the world's only reggae/metal/dubstep/hardcore act (ragga-metal, according to singer Benji Webbe) have been slugging it out in the underground for two decades, while still retaining their hold on the title of "Best Party Band You Wish You'd Heard Of Sooner."
Big Tings is probably their most consistent album yet. So what's holding them back? Perhaps it's the truly horrendous album art. Perhaps it's the fact that rap-rock still conjures images of JNCO jeans and wallet chains (fashions Skindred wisely steer clear of).
It certainly isn't the songs, because the percussive breaks in "Loud and Clear" and "Broken Glass" could make the grimmest metalhead dance like it's Caribana. Things stay simple, but the title track still sounds like Shabba Ranks jamming with Korn or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Skindred even manage to cram another influence, '80s arena rock, into "Machine" via a Phil Campbell cameo. Each of these tracks are bangers, deserving of heavy airplay. Combined with some of the most energetic live shows this side of Airbourne, Skindred seem set to conquer the world.
Sadly, it does not seem meant to be. The stigma around rap-rock might still be too strong. But Skindred are working to change this, and Big Tings is a huge step in the right direction. (Napalm)