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Skindred - Babylon album
by Mr. Huh?

Skindred - Babylon album 
Label: Bieler Brothers/MCA
Set It Off
Firing The Love
Fear, The
Falling Down
Kiss And Make Up
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

Once there was a band called Limp Bizkit.  This was a rather half-assed nu-metal band led by one of the most egotistical frontmonkeys around.  This frontmonkey didn't even have any talent as a singer or rapper but was so full of himself, that he fired the other members of the band (no we're not talking about Travis Meeks here.  Travis has boatloads of talent).  After hiring some superior bandmates, the band realized that the only thing holding them back was the monkey, so they booted him out and after auditioning hundreds of pseudo-angry, half-assed-rapping frontmonkeys, they hired a frontMAN instead, they changed their name to Skindred, and went on to make some pretty outstanding music. 

This of course isn't a true story, but was one that I entertained in my head upon first hearing this CD.  While they are a nu-metal and rap-metal band, Skindred manage to embarrass the competition by bringing a more successful blend of metal, hip-hop, punk (not ponk), and even some reggae to the mix.  The band's biggest strength is their frontman, Benji Webbe, who is a decent enough rapper (better then most of what you hear in the mainstream rap scene) and a very powerful vocalist who can sing an   inspirational tune ("Selector") with just the right amount of light-heartedness and conviction to a menacing growl ("Nobody" chorus).  The first half of the album is mostly dancehall anthems (with the exception of "Babylon" and one of my favorite tracks "Firing the Love", which also showcases Benji Webbe's vocal variety).  The second half of the album however tries to be more serious, yet loses something in the mix.  "Bruises" is about racism, yet rather than seriously exploring the issue, seems to denigrate into a petty, parking lot fight-song instead.  The lyrics are still creative enough in the second half and "The Fear" had a good acoustic riff and also helps to legitimize sampling by using the vocal and lyrical rhythm of The Clash's "London Calling", albeit to a slower tempo.  An ongoing problem throughout the album is guitarist Jeff Rose.  He's got more skills than your average nu-metal guitarist and can come up with some interesting riffs.  Now and then however, especially towards the second half of the album, he does end up falling into a generic nu-metal power-chord crunch.  He's still perfectly viable though. 

Overall Skindred's Babylon has great strengths that outshines its weaknesses and shows a band with great potential. 

Want more?

Visit the Official Website to learn more about Skindred

Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online


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