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Skintrade: Refueled

Beginning back in the mid nineties, Skintrade was a surprisingly heavy turn for one-time Jagged Edge and Bam Bam Boys frontman Matti Alfonzetti, causing some to tar their brace of albums Grunge chasing. However the truth was that, while Skintrade maybe was a reaction to the wane in popularity of more traditional Heavy Rock, this outfit possessed too much bluesy cool (heavy though it was) to site Nirvana or Pearl Jam as inspiration. In fact the riffs Skintrade-d in were at times so heavy that often Pantera and Metallica were whispered in the same breath.

Two albums however was as far as Alfonzetti and his new vehicle ventured, disappearing almost as quickly as they'd arrived and all too soon forgotten. That was until 2012 and Past And Present delivered a mix of over looked tracks from the previous albums alongside new numbers, surprising many by just how good this band were and evidently still are. Two years down the line and the aptly titled (if badly spelled) Refueled continues the rehabilitation through eleven punchy little numbers, which roar out of the traps and simply refuse to be ignored until they've had their wicked way. "Monster" virtually explodes as it rips the front off your speakers, Alfonzetti revelling in the opportunity to bring more aggro to his voice than his other current bands Red, White & Blues or Impera allow him. Guitarist Stefan Bergstrom matches the intensity, a barrage of forceful riffs making the expletive riddled "Hardcore MF Heartattack" and less lyrically in your face "Mountain" hit hard and leave a lasting impact. At times even latter day, Carnival Of Souls, Kiss could be seen as a touching point, however harking to bands and eras past isn't what Refueled is about, instead it confidently strides forward through the stinging slap of "Worse Than Wasted", or the stomp, kick and guitar flicks of "Look Me In The Eye". As before with Skintrade, even the decidedly heavier material beats with a bluesy heart, bringing a more accessible bent than might be expected, while a clutch of slower more considered tracks also offer a classy break from the more uncompromising fare served up.

For anyone familiar with Alfonzetti's other work, but not with Skintrade, Refueled will possess the same shock value the band's first two albums did way back when. What isn't a surprise though, is just how damn convincing an album it is. This is Heavy Melodic Rock at its heaviest and all the better for it.

Track Listing
1. Monster
2. Liar
3. Pay In Blood
4. Hardcore MF Heartattack
5. Close My Eyes
6. Getting Away With Murder
7. Mountain
8. Been To The Bottom
9. Worse Than Wasted
10. Dying In Your Arms
11. Wild One
12. Look Me In The Eye

Added: March 10th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Skintrade Online
Hits: 1835
Language: english

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