Skunk Anansie - Smashes And Trashes
For a band who had no less than ten Top 40 singles between 1995 and 1999, it seems odd that only now do we get a Skunk Anansie greatest hits album. The reason for the sudden correction of this oversight is simple - after an 8 year hiatus, the band are back together and recording new material.
So, how has their back catalogue held up? Surprisingly well. Their big hit, 'Weak', still has a chorus you could park a bus on, and Skin's vocals have lost none of their power in the intervening decade, while 'Hedonism' and 'Weep' are still as good a pair of rock ballads as you'll find anywhere.
And the new material? 'Tear The Place up', as you might imagine from the title, is a screaming three minute racket of a track, with Skin screeching "Make no mistake, I bring you fire!" while the guitars thunder along at a hundred miles an hour, and feels like a band trying to prove they've lost none of their passion in their absence. 'Squander', by contrast, is an anthemic ballad, which would almost be at home on the Radio 2 playlist, while 'Because Of You' is a mix of the two, with a roaring chorus coming out of nowhere.
Whether they'll find any new converts in 2009 is debatable, but it's a welcome return and the new tracks are promising. Hopefully we'll see a full new album and a proper new chapter for the band.