Skunk Anansie first came to our attention back in 1995 with the release of their debut record Paranoid and Sunburnt.
It was in 1996 however that the band made waves on the international scene with the massive single Hedonism and the bands second album, Stoosh.
The album garnished the band with critical and commercial acclaim and from that grew an enormous following and worldwide success. Consisting of Skin (Vocals), Ace (Guitar), Cass (Bass) and Mark Richardson (Drums), Skunk Anansie went on to record three studio albums between 1995 and 2000 before disbanding. With the vocal talents and bolshy stature of outspoken front-woman Skin, the band went on to become one of the UK’s most successful charts acts.
Deciding to put away the band name for a decade, the members of Skunk Anansie began pursuing other projects in 1999. 2009 however sparked the return of Skunk Anansie with the release of a greatest hits compilation record and now in 2010 the band have officially reformed and taken the world on once again with their brand of alternative Brit-rock. Along with a hectic touring schedule, Skunk Anansie now present to us their first studio release in eleven years, the wonderfully named Wonderlustre.
As with the bands early releases, Wonderlustre is a record that combines the eclecticism of the quartets heavy rock roots, grinding pop laced hooks and bass heavy mosh pit monsters. The record is without doubt one of the best releases of Skunk Anansie’s career with non stop radio friendly hits teeming throughout the record.
The gentle and whispery God Loves Only You is the ideal opener for the record with calm and swaying verses paired perfectly with an uptempo and full throttle, anthemic chorus.
First single My Ugly Boy, a track about a night afters walk of shame, is the obvious pearl on the album. Chosen to front the comeback, it’s a fantastic return to form with a catchy chorus surrounded by a Nirvana style guitar riff and vocals hoots.
Guitar heavy Over The Love is a memorable addition with a thunderous and bittersweet chorus. The Sweetest Thing is a punchy stacatto number that shows off Skin’s impeccably distinctive rock vocals to an almost metal degree.
My Love Will Fall sees Skin more raw and vivid than any Skunk Anansie track I have heard in an almost a capella addition. Lyrical depth envelopes My Love Will Fall as the singer announces throughout the chorus ‘I curse my love for you’.
Nearing the end of the record, You Saved Me announces a vulnerable track for the band. Truly gorgeous and delicate is the best way to describe this number. Skin’s voice is exquisite on the track as she opens her heart up and sings about a saviour of her love. From the opening lines “I’ve been looking through my mirror, with somebody else’s eyes, and you broke me down, you fixed my blood-stained crown'”, the solemn tone of the track is set and strengthened with a throbbing rhythm and charming backing vocals.
Wonderlustre is the perfect comeback album for a band that does not sound out of practice with each other in the slightest. This is Skunk Anansie at their absolute best. Wonderlustre is an album that brings back to life one of the UK’s most loved acts and where reunions so often produce bargain bin fodder, Wonderlustre is anything but and is a welcoming addition to the bands already enviable and highly successful back catalogue of rock grandeur.
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.