SKINTRADE (Matti Alfonzetti) – Past And Present +1
Matti Alfonzetti’s Swedish band SKINTRADE was in the first half of the ’90s one of the big and upcoming acts from the Scandinavian hard rock scene. After a long hiatus, some time ago Skintrade returned into the scene with this “Past And Present” album, some kind of a ‘Best Of’ including three new songs and 12 classics from the ’90s.
After that, Skintrade released 2 new albums this decade, and now are preparing a new one. A fresh single is already out, so this is a good opportunity to revisit this killer “Past And Present”.
Skintrade’s self-titled debut was released in 1993 and received overwhelmingly positive response from both media and audience, with the singles “Sick As A Dog” and “One by One” played frequently on radio and TV, including MTV’s Headbangers Ball.
Skintrade was honored with a Zeppelin award for ‘Best Hard Rock Album’ and was nominated for a Swedish Grammis (Grammy equivalent).
Between 1993 and 1995, the band embarked on several tours in Europe and played at some of the biggest festivals such as Sweden Rock, Dynamo Open Air (Holland) or Rock Am Ring (Germany).
However, Skintrade dissolved pretty quick, when the members decided to go separate ways and try different things.
The idea for the Skintrade musicians to collaborate again came about as they got more and more requests from fans asking them to make new music.
During the first comeback rehearsal it became obvious that the band’s chemistry was very much intact, so they decided to record new songs and release them with tracks of the previous album in the form of “Past And Present”.
Skintrade plays classic hard rock with some really original twists, blended as well with a large dose of heavy-funk, resulting in a music that both rocks and swings with a personal and pretty unique style.
While there’s elements of the traditional hard rock formula with influences ranging from ‘Americanized’ The Cult circa 1988 to Thunder and Whitesnake, Skintrade were ahead of their time.
Don’t trust some comments or reviews that syndicate Skintrade as an alternative or grunge-tingled band. OK, maybe some material from their second album had some of those influences, but leaning in a Soundgarden-like approach or Faith No More with the eccentricity replaced by melodies.
But this is hard rock, good and original hard rock.
This band rocks, believe me, and in a great way.
Just to hear Matti Alfonzetti awesome rockin’ voice is enough to make the disc worth on purchasing. The twin guitar attack sounds like an oiled rhythmic bulldozer over a pneumatic hammer bass. And the drumming…
I love the hard hitting drums on this recording. This is the way the snare and cymbals should sound in a hard rock band, full of reverb and presence. Listen with headphones, in example, the opening track “One By One” and you’ll notice what I’m saying.
The songs taken from the 1993 debut are more catchy & commercial, as the hot hard rocker “Soul Sister” featuring a killer chorus, the superfunk heavy “Sick As A Dog”, the dirty (explicit lyrics) “Parasite”, the bluesy and melodic semi-ballad “Angel Eyes” or the aforementioned “One By One”, a groovy hard rocker.
The few picks from the 2nd disc are darker, but also offer an interesting variation. “Motorman” is heavy and compact, “Crucify” has a strong riffage, while “Silence” adds some obscure keyboards and a climatic instrumentation in the middle.
On “Past And Present” we also get ‘the present’, the newly composed songs and how the band sounds nowadays: pretty much like they origins, with Thunder vibe all over it yet punchier.
Additionally, there’s the newly released single ‘Woman’, a groovy bluesy hard rocker driven by sharp guitars and Matti’s powerful voice. A great sneak peek from the upcoming album.
As said, Skintrade rocks. “Past And Present” rocks. In a very, very good and original way.
Kick ass stuff.
01 – One By One
02 – Soul Sister
03 – Sick As A Dog
04 – Parasite
05 – The Last Thought
06 – War
07 – Freight Train
08 – Fear (Prev. Unreleased)
09 – Angel Eyes
10 – Crucify
11 – Silence
12 – Motorman
13 – Falling To Pieces
14 – Back The Hell Up
15 – Little Baby
16 – Woman (New Track 2019)
Matti Alfonzetti – Vocals, Guitar
Stefan Bergström – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Håkan Calmroth – Bass
Håkan Persson – Drums, Backing Vocals
George Bravo – Guitar, Backing Vocals
BUY IT !