After an 8-year hiatus Skunk Anansie are back in the scene with their 6th studio album, recorded in London, produced by Skunk Anansie and Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, Pixies) and mixed by Jeremy Wheatley and Adrian Bushby. "Black Traffic" is the bands first independent release via their own label Boogooyamma working in partnership with earMUSIC. “We got back together because we have a strong chemistry,” says singer Skin. “We’re very proud of our past work, but what drives us is the future.”
Were my expectations a bit too high? Well, I had the impression that Black Traffic needs some time to get into gear. Why this opener “I Will Break You” with Skin singing in falsetto, thus slightly annoying? It takes until track 3 “Spit On You” to enjoy the expected sound, drive and energy level, and the following catchy ballad “I Hope You Get To Meet Your Hero” lets Skin´s excellent voice shine. What a pity that they splashed this greasy orchestra all over it – there´s another way to do it, as they show with the awesome final track Diving Down.
Unfortunately Skunk Anansie make too many bows to mainstream, with the occasional way-too-simple, slightly annoying chorus, presumably for an iphone generation that can only remember one word to sing along (“Drowning”). This raw energy wrapped into a fresh Rock sound, those kick-ass lyrics – in other words, how I enjoy the band – could have received a bit more room. Anyway, Believed In You has hit potential just like the catchy This is Not a Game; Satisfied, Sticky Fingers and Our Sun Kills The Summer are powerful songs – although the chorus of the latter try too hard to please MTV standards (= arch-conservative mainstream nowadays).
Summary: Skunk Anansie release an overall recommendable comeback album. What´s still missing is showing the middle finger to mainstream and some legendary killer songs...
1. I Will Break You
2. Sad Sad Sad
3. Spit You Out (featuring Shaka Ponk)
4. I Hope You Get To Meet Your Hero
5. I Believed In You
7. Our Summer Kills The Sun
9. This Is Not A Game
10. Sticky Fingers In Your Honey
11. Diving Down