Skindred - Big Tings review


18 users:
Band: Skindred
Album: Big Tings
Release date: April 2018

01. Big Tings
02. That's My Jam
03. Machine [feat. Phil Campbell and Gary Stringer]
04. Last Chance
05. Tell Me
06. Loud And Clear
07. Alive
08. All This Time
09. Broken Glass
10. Saying It Now

"Big Tings" might be on Skindred's mind, but they certainly don't bleed into the music. This feels much more like Red Hot Chili Peppers than classic Skindred.

Occasional deep, fuzzy guitars and voluminous percussion are the only surviving hints of a history with sounds both lush and heavy, the instrumentation being otherwise severely neutered. Benji Webbe has also significantly reduced his repertoire of vocal styles; Big Tings contains almost no rapping and there are so few opportunities for the aggressive approach found in Skindred's heavier moments. I wouldn't say I've ever been completely onboard with Skindred, but there is no denying that releases like Roots Rock Riot, Union Black, Kill The Power, and even Volumes had a much greater sense of identity, a broader spectrum of influences, and a more convincing, conviction-driven delivery. Big Tings pulls in so many clichés of commercially refined 21st-century alt rock: that brittle, snappy guitar tone, some familiar chord progressions, canned clapping and snapping… I'm sure I even heard the millennial whoop in there.

On some level, this works for me - I won't turn away a single purely for being too accessible - but in another way, this feels exactly like the kind of music you'd hear in the background of a commercial for the latest smartphone, sports drink, or streaming service. I almost don't feel qualified to review this anymore, simply because it lies so far on the fringe of heavy music and so deeply in the territory of new-millennium pop rock that I don't understand its aims. What was once a vibrant combination of disparate styles that made Skindred stand out has collapsed, every unique element running back to its lowest common denominator and leaving Big Tings no more inventive than any mainstream rock album you're likely to find on somebody's charts.

I can't say I don't enjoy Big Tings. It's a harmless, simple pop album with some mindless grooves and hook-like turns that could easily keep me content if it were playing in the background, aside from a few moments that truly smack of boot polish and cause me to wonder what's being advertised over the music. Even so, there is no longer anything particularly unique about Skindred, and this was a band that formerly could lay claim to one of the most eclectic sonic personalities in heavy music. The handful of funk and metal remnants that accidentally spill through from time to time aren't enough to buoy a collection of songs that are basically inoffensive and have nothing else going for them.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Production: 8


Written on 31.05.2018 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 2   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 86 users
31.05.2018 - 15:14
Heard "Thats My Jam" on the radio. Couldn't get past the chorus. Its so fuckin' bad.
02.06.2018 - 18:27
I did forget to mention that the artwork is fairly hideous.
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.

Hits total: 2951 | This month: 75