Skindred – Big Tings album review

Ragga-rock partiers Skindred offer a collection of safe yet fun anthems

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Big Tings

1. Big Tings
2. That's My Jame
3. Machine
4. Last Chance
5. Tell Me
6. Loud And Clear
7. Alive
8. All This Time
9. Broken Glass
10. Saying It Now

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Beloved Brits Skindred are the ultimate ‘night out’ metal band. Their massive canon of infectious anthems always ensures that a concert with these adrenaline-pumping melody-makers is one packed to the brim with energy, spontaneity and singalongs. In that regard, it feels rather appropriate that their brand new seventh album, Big Tings, is, in and of itself, like a manic night out: wildly good fun as you’re experiencing it, but you soon end up forgetting a good amount of it.

Despite tossing in a few musical curveballs, Big Tings is predominantly Skindred playing to their arena-filling strengths. The entire record is driven by its choruses, which all have enough power packed inside of them to stand side-by-side on setlists with favourites like Kill The Power and Warning. The primary difference is that, while Skindred’s most successful tracks all have eclectic hooks inspired by genres from reggae to hip hop to groove metal, Big Tings specialises in more straightforward rock’n’roll, as epitomised by its love-letter to AC/DC, lead single Machine. Unique touches like electronic beats and Benji Webbe’s frantic fusion of rapping and singing feel under-emphasised, only really sneaking through in the disc’s latter half.

However, in the heat of the moment, choice cuts from Big Tings have the potential to shine in a live setting, which – over the past 15 years – has become Skindred’s proving ground. It’s easy to imagine giant crowds lapping up the lengthy refrain of Broken Glass or the rowdy bombast of All This Time. Despite its self-restrictive nature, this latest offering clearly demonstrates one of rock’s most likeable groups packing just as much fun and passion into their tunes as ever. You will probably have a spectacular time with Big Tings’ material upon hearing it live. Just don’t expect to be humming it the next morning.