Saturday, January 16, 2016
Skunk Anansie : "Anarchytecture"
If you aren't familiar with this band you are more than likely American or born after 1990. In the states the brushes with mainstream came from Skin lending her voice to a Deftones song and Kevin Bacon singing along to them in the car in the movie "Hollow Man" .The openers is smooth electro rock with a cool vocal hook that made me forget the harder rock elements of "Post Orgasmic Chill" are not still intact and this is perhaps more along the lines of the Gathering's current state of the union. Electronica has always been an influence they have just made more of transition. The guitar than is present is hardly overdriven until the second verse of "Victim". It all is riding on Skin's voice, which is a good place to hedge your bets from. She isn't flexing her pipes in the quite as a dramatic manner as she once did , but she still has the goods.
The pop rock of "Beauty is Your Curse" might be better than most of the new rock music that surfaces on the radio. "Death to the Lovers" is an effective pop ballad that is sugar free and well done. The next song that really grabs me like their earlier work is "In the Back Room" that plays of a disco like tension similar to "Edge of Seventeen". The thick bass line to "Bullets" gives the song a more Nine Inch Nails like thump. There is a more punk strut to "That Sinking Feeling" that finds her voice going up from her more sultry mid range into her upper register. The riff reminds me of something Hole might have done, Skin's voice give it much more bite than the likes of Courtney Love could every muster.
Things drop back down into a more introspective and minimalist electro with her capable voice bared until the chorus when it builds up into something more akin to A Perfect Circle. The bass joins her on the second verse and they add sonic layers from there. The beat gets harder for the more 90s alternative styled interlude "Suckers!" that finds them with a more fuzzed out stoner rock guitar tone. They stay in this harder rock mode for "We Are the Flames" that seethes with a slow build. They way into goes into the chorus seems like they have been taking notes from Muse. They close the album with the more ballad like "I'll Let You Down". While her voice sounds great here I'm waiting for the song as a whole to congeal into something tangible.I'll give this one a 9.5 and see how songs like this last one grow on me, no question this is more of a return to form for them even if they have mellowed with age.