Skindred – Roots Rock Riot (Reissue Review)

Skindred is notorious for their unique style of music: a mix between Heavy Metal, Alternative Rock and Reggae, but the band touches so many more genres along the way. Founded in 1998, they released their debut album, Babylon, four years later, in 2002. Now, with over two decades under their belt, the Welsh Metal band is set to reissue their 2007 sophomore album, Roots Rock Riot, on Friday, April 24, 2021 via Hassle Hindsight.

A reissue that also includes a vinyl pressing, Roots Rock Riot comes with 15 songs, of which the last three songs are bonus additions. The album lasts for 57-minutes and is packed with energetic music that will pump adrenaline through your veins, though it does ultimately come to a close with the acoustic version of “Destroy the Dancefloor.” 

Opening song and title-track “Roots Rock Riot” is a loud song filled with Heavy Metal, while the following track, “Trouble,” is much more melodic. That is at least when it comes to its chorus, which will definitely get you to sing along sooner or later. Then “Ratrace” takes on a Reggae rhythm for its vocals, which come with a strong Jamaican accent as spoken moments are mixed with shouted vocals. 

“State of Emergency” starts out with more of a Reggae style and less Metal. But with each verse it gets more Metal and less Reggae, until it eventually turns into a loud and rough song before coming to a close. Meanwhile, the smoothest song on the album is “Struggle,” which provides a very thoughtful moment. In fact, the lyrics of each song are definitely worth listening to closely, as they are inspired by life. Vocalist Benji Webbe has a talent for painting pictures with his words, but he also loves to get straight to the point rather than mincing words.

Either way, Skindred offers relatable lyrics and with every change of style between Metal and Reggae, the band gives the listener a chance to catch a breath before the music hits back strong and heavy. In this, Roots Rock Riot is a great door opener for people who like Metal, but not for a straight hour. This album has as many moments to bang your head to, as well as times when you will want to sway along. 

Skindred is a band known for its energy and powerful music, which is something that you can definitely hear on Roots Rock Riot. Throughout the album, the band always makes sure to keep the balance between Reggae and Metal, slow and fast music. Similarly, they are able to keep the balance between political and serious lyrics and songs that are meant to have fun with. This reissue, therefore, is a chance to rediscover this amazing band and their great music or get to know them in the first place. Either way, the album is a must for fans of good music, and that is why Cryptic Rock gives the Roots Rock Riot reissue 5 out of 5 stars. 

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