Skindred
Roots Rock Riot


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheDistantFuture USER (24 Reviews)
May 23rd, 2008 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Greatest Ragga-Punk-Metal Album of All Time.

Calling something the best of anything seems to a have funny way of attracting gobs of cynicism. Maybe this is because everyday we hear commercials for "the best" burgers, toilet papers, or swifers supposedly on the market; everyone claims they're the best which in turn devalues these claims and has taught us, the consumers, to be wary of such bold statements (much like the people on this site who can't help themselves from giving 5's to albums after they've been out for three hours). In this regard, Skindred's sophomore effort, "Roots Rock Riot" is a rare exception. This truly is the absolute best ragga-punk-metal album ever made. This could be attributed to the fact that Skindred is a one of a kind band that plays a style entirely unique to themselves and also the fact that they have only put out two albums, with their debut being far inferior to this one, never the less Roots Rock Riot is an incredibly accomplished album that has beautifully fleshed out their once eyebrow-raising sound.

For the sake of not leaving anyone in the dark on the new music craze sweeping select parts of the nation, ragga-punk-metal is a style that mixes punky beats and guitar licks, with heavy riffing, groovy basslines, and dub samples, finishing off the package with wildly diverse vocals ranging from Marley-esque croons to hardcore shouts. On paper this sounds like about as good a combo as peanut butter and toothpaste sandwiches, fortunately the result is much more so in the vein of the crisp refreshment of Mike's Hard. Skindred is able to very deftly blend these very disparate attributes together in such a way that is totally accessible and avoids the deadly novelty pitfall. Songs like the title cut, "Ratrace", and "Cause a Riot" have circle pit-ready riffs and vein bulging screams, and yet in parts they are also sing-songy, and even danceable. In many ways Skindred sound like Hed P.E. if they were to actually get their act together and learn how to write "good" music.

It is understandable to see how such a combination would be hard to take seriously, however Skindred are definitely a serious band, at least when they feel like it. Themes of social injustice and such do come up and songs like the incredibly catchy "Trouble" and "Choices and Decisions" have a kind of darker brooding mood to them, however at it's core Roots Rock Riot, is very much a feel-good, rock out witcha cawk out record; something that is difficult to do particularly with any kind of heavy band. Like Babylon many of the lyrical themes revolve around just getting out, jamming to some tunes, and jumping da funk up (seriously Benji live stops the band from playing if not enough people are jumpin'). Skindred are very much a self-aware band, they know very clearly what their music is meant to do and they have no qualms about putting that into their lyrics. Many people seemed to find fault with this on their debut with it coming off as arrogant or corny, but it really is genuine, even if it is unlikely that one would hear them in some club, but I'm sure if they were to they would indeed "Destroy the Dancefloor." The mood of the the album makes it almost impossible to think about that twenty page paper you haven't started, the painful breakup you just went through, or how your pal just spilled a Bud all over your XBOX 360. You'll much more likely feel the urge to grab a skateboard and ride out carefree to the beach with your friends.

Roots Rock Riot is a solid album from start to finish that bursts at the seams with catchy hooks galore and huge fist-pumping sing/shout-alongs. With Babylon the band proved that they were very capable of mixing genres in a way that wasn't just a passing joke, but a fresh new concept and with Riot' they have polished it to a beautiful shine. There are albums one listens to for emotional release, some for relaxation, and others to just jump up and "feel alright." Skindred definitely delivers with the latter promise on such a fantastic follow up.



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user ratings (172)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheDistantFuture
May 23rd 2008


200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Part 5.

laughingaspeopledie
May 23rd 2008


25 Comments


What's with the picture of the diseased rat?

laughingaspeopledie
May 23rd 2008


25 Comments


Still wondering why you have a little picture of a diseased rat wearing a shirt and sneakers in your post, DistantFuture.

Wizard
May 23rd 2008


19513 Comments


The mood of the the album makes it almost impossible to think about that twenty page paper you haven't started, the painful breakup you just went through, or how your pal just spilled a Bud all over your XBOX 360. You'll much more likely feel the urge to grab a skateboard and ride out carefree to the beach with your friends.

Hahahahahaha. Laughed fucking hard at that line.

Very well written review. Unfortunately, I don't share you thoughts about this band. There is much, much better reggae/ metal out there.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

TheDistantFuture
May 23rd 2008


200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

laughingaspeopledie-

Ever hear of Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life? Only one of Nickelodeon's greatest toons ever...

laughingaspeopledie
May 24th 2008


25 Comments


The last cartoon I watched was in the 1980s.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2008


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

liked their first album better but this is ok to

DeathThrashProg
December 18th 2008


500 Comments


Fun album, definitely beats their debut.

GenNarain
September 30th 2009


781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album rocks. great review.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2009


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah it is a great album. I'm going to raise my rating for this.

Apollo
November 27th 2009


10336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really really great review, my friend is really into these guys I'm gonna give this album a chance

random
January 26th 2012


2267 Comments


"Trouble" is quite the song.

iambandersnatch
February 14th 2012


1485 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think I'll probably get tired of this quickly, but it's fun for now

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2012


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Skindred on this album sound a lot heavier and more energetic, though some of the guitar riffs, as on their debut, can become monotonous with repeated listens. Nonetheless, it make for a promising collection of songs, with more melody than last time.



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