Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: 100%
After an eight-year hiatus, '90s Brit-rock veterans Skunk Anansie have wasted little time in regrouping for the second album since reconvening back in 2009. Like its predecessor, Wonderlustre, their fifth studio album, Black Traffic, proves that not all reunions need to end in legacy-destroying disaster. Produced by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro), there's little amongst its 11 tracks that would have sounded out of place during their chart-bothering heyday, but then their thrilling blend of dub-metal, feminist rock, and orchestral tearjerkers always sounded ahead of the curve anyway.
There was little fanfare when Skunk Anansie announced their return to the musical landscape with 2009’s retrospective singles compilation Smashes and Trashes. The album failed to reach gold status in the UK as did all their previous efforts, and peaked at number 74 on the charts. Soon following was a brand new release, Wonderlustre, that didn’t make quite the same impact that they may have been hoping to make.
Back when flint was the primary material used for cutting tools and man’s worst fear was a run-in with a sabre-toothed tiger, Skunk Anansie – with their scary singer and snappy song titles like ‘Intellectualise My Blackness’ – were quite the thing. Thankfully, in these days of steam-train travel and FM radios, we can see them for what they actually are. It’s not that ‘Black Traffic’ is clod-hopping lite-metal afforded an undeserved level of interest by the aforementioned scary singer… actually, scratch that, that’s exactly what it is.