Skindred have just released the banger-packed, life-affirming soundtrack to everybody’s summer

Benji’s banger brigade hit new heights as Skindred release liberating eighth album Smile

Skindred: Smile cover art
(Image: © Earache Records)

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One slight drawback to being the best live band on the planet is that your albums seldom receive enough attention. Five years on from the patchy Big Tings, Newport’s finest have clearly dedicated themselves to making a record that truly mirrors the euphoric abandon of their legendary gigs. 

Smile is Skindred in excelsis: a highly evolved riot of metal, reggae, razor-sharp pop-rock and assorted ragamuffin business. Like the band’s previous peak, Union Black, this eighth album swims delightedly in a liberated musical melting pot. 

Gimme That Boom, Set Fazers and Unstoppable are guaranteed crowd pleasers with hooks like naval anchors; State Of The Union and Life That’s Free are insanely catchy pop-rockers with an electro twist; L.O.V.E. (Smile), Mama and This Appointed Love delve into the bubbling bass of British reggae with blissful results.

If this isn’t the banger-packed, life-affirming soundtrack to everybody’s summer, then something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.