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Skintrade - 'Scarred For Life' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 23, 2015    
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A well-crafted, solid record.

Having originally hailed from the MTV 'Headbangers Ball' era rather than modern day YouTube and painstaking count of Facebook shares/likes period, Skintrade are back and trying to secure themselves a steady place among the Modern Rock acts. 'Scarred For Life' – the group's new album released via AOR Heaven – is the best proof that even though these Swedes have no regrets about their past, they seldom look back.

The album starts with the title track, which is driven with a riff that pretty much says it all. Loud, raw and modern; it's the same sound and formula that the reborn Skintrade had already introduced us to on last year's 'Refueled'. Most of the songs on the latest album are up-tempo, Modern Hard Rock pieces built around heavy guitar licks contrasted with relatively melodic and catchy choruses ('Goodbye', 'Lay With Me', 'LoveHate').

Far from reinventing a proverbial wheel, the Swedish Rockers are predictable but certainly powerful as evidenced in the groovy, Funk Rock-tinged 'Leave A Scar' as well as getting more aggressive in 'Storm Will Come' and '15 Minutes Gone'. However, there are also moments of slowdown – for the sake of diversity at least. The first appears in the shape of the sombre ballad 'Find A Way' – an emotional outpouring delivered by Matti Alfonzetti against a heavy, lumbering instrumental background and enriched with a nifty guitar solo. 'Broken' is not exactly ballad-ish but a melodic mid-tempo offering with a certain "radio hit" potential. Covering Katy Perry's 2012 single 'Wide Awake' might have seemed a weird choice at first, but it fits the rest of the material lyric-wise and the song's empowering message gets stronger while the musical side of the track has been deprived of the sugary "radio-friendliness" of its original version.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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If one had to describe 'Scarred For Life' with just one word, "powerhouse" is the one that would, without doubt, do the trick. And, similarly to their previous post-hiatus effort 'Refueled', it's no nostalgia-driven trip either. The unabashed energy of their debut album and the early 1990's Rock flavour – raw, stripped-down and straightforward – are present here and there, but the overall sound and production definitely belong to the contemporary era.

Skintrade's new effort is therefore a well-crafted, solid record that is 2015 all over – or (depending on your personal viewpoint) as far as the band's front-man Alfonzetti could have likely distanced himself from his Bam Bam Boys and Jagged Edge era.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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