Botswana: The Gaberone-based band Skinflint recently released its latest, self-titled album. The three piece has put together a fine musical offering in this album. The sound is tight, but raw, and throws you back to the 70s and 80s.
You can pick up on Iron Maiden influences here and there, but the songs have roots that are unabashedly African. However, Skinflint‘s sound has a global reach – I’m currently in Saskatchewan, Canada; and Skinflint is known here! The vocals on this track (and this album) aren’t sung, but they’re not spoken or growled either. They’re spat out, basically demanding your attention. This technique does give the band a unique sound, but it has a somewhat unfortunate side effect of sounding a little too much the same on all songs on the album.
There’s a definite Jimi Hendrix touch to the guitar solos, and the bass gives the songs a great foundation. The drumming is solid; though I would have liked to hear a bit more showing off.
Their single, ‘Birds and Milk, Bloody Milk’, has an insistent, in-your-face feel to it.The tracks ‘Mathoa’ and ‘Tuywewera’, make me feel like I’m at Woodstock, rocking my bell-bottoms, celebrating free love and avoiding the brown acid. However, I’m particularly drawn to ‘Eyes in a Leopard’s Spots’. The rhythm draws me in, the chorus is catchy without being too “hooky”, and the speed of the hi-hat does make me think of a leopard sprinting after a buck. ‘The Hyena Sorcerer’ has a certain heft to it – the combination of the rhythm and the bass gives it grit.
The over all sound of this album makes me think that instead of recording the instruments separately, the band got together and recorded everything live. This works very much in their favour as you feel like you’re in the front row of a live concert.
The members of Skinflint can be proud of this body of work, and I’m going to be getting their earlier albums for my music collection as well.