SKINTRADE – Refueled (2014)
Thanks to an abundance of requests by their loyal fan-base, Swedes SKINTRADE, fronted by great singer Matti Alfonzetti have regrouped two years ago, and after a compilation (presented here) the band has released yesterday their brand new 2014 CD “Refueled” through AOR Heaven Records.
A busy duration with a debut in 1993 and follow up in 1995 saw these Melodic Hard Rockers tear up their native country and further afield touring all over Europe, until the band split up the following year with the members going their separate ways.
Matti Alfonzetti in particular has been very visible in the intervening years having pursued a career with the likes of Jagged Edge (with Myke Gray), Boxer, Tommy Denander’s Impera and reuniting with Myke Gray again for the band Red White And Blues.
Alfonzetti is clearly a hard worker. Juggling his time with so many bands in recent years and as solo artist, you would be right to wonder if he has spread his talent a little too thinly and perhaps the output will suffer.
However, fear not, as opening track “Monster” gets things off to an excellent start. Reminiscent of ‘Trash’ era Alice Cooper, “Monster” has a huge bass driven rhythm section pumping the track whilst Alfonzetti and Co. chant ‘I’m a Monster’ over the top of it all.
“Liar” with its excellent hook and chorus show Alfonzetti stretching the vocals chords and extend his range proving why so many bands of late want him to front them. Stefan Bergström gets to flex his skills with some intricate solos too making you wonder why the gap between releases given the positive start they had has gone on for so long.
It’s refreshing to hear bands that are comfortable with ‘real’ guitar solos again and “Refueled” is plenty of them. Listen to “Hardcore MF Heartattack” and it’s guaranteed to generate a grin as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge as vocals and guitar trade blows.
Even on “Close My Eyes”, the first ballad of the album, the style still retains the crunchy rhythm which stops it from being just another ‘lighters in the air’ song.
The groovy “Getting Away With Murder”, the really upbeat “Mountain”, and the melodic “Worse Than Wasted” all maintain the style of the first half of the album and it’s fair to say there is no filler on here at all.
“Been to the Bottom” is a whiskey fueled mid-tempo moment of despair and you can almost picture the video being set in a darkly lit dive with Alfonzetti sat at the bar looking back on life…
The 12 track album bows out with more rockers in “Dying in Your Arms”, “Wild One’” and the razor riffage of “Look Me in The Eye”.
“Wild One” is the natural follow up to ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ and one Jon Bon Jovi would have loved to have written himself. “Look Me in The Eye’ would be the perfect show closer and it’s easy to imagine the audience bouncing to the crunchy riff.
Matti Alfonzetti has returned with his Skintrade bandmates delivering a real corker in “Refueled”. The sound of the band has matured, still fierce and intense but much more dynamic and enhanced by the acquired experience of those talented veterans.
The songs flow neatly and given the lengthy break the band have had, they’ve done a very, very good job of making the album sound relevant to the modern music scene. It’s a very crunchy production from Swedish co-Producer / Engineer Oscar Ammer and should see the CD being picked up by a wide audience.
For lovers of sharp, riff-driven Swedish hard rock, strong top vocals, hooks that you can hang a shark off, and choruses that stick in your head for days to come, you need look no further, “Refueled” is that album.
01 – Monster
02 – Liar
03 – Pay In Blood
04 – Hardcore MF Heartattack
05 – Close My Eyes
06 – Getting Away With Murder
07 – Mountain
08 – Been To The Bottom
09 – Worse Than Wasted
10 – Dying In Your Arms
11 – Wild One
12 – Look Me In The Eye
Matti Alfonzetti – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Stefan Bergström – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Hakan Masen Persson – Drums, Vocals
Håkan Calmroth – Bass
BUY IT !