Matti Alfonzetti’s Swedish band SKINTRADE was in the first half of the ’90s one of the big and upcoming acts on the Scandinavian hard rock scene. Now they’re back with a new tour and CD: “Past And Present”. The group’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, the band 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 rehearsal in May 2011, 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 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.
Musically they 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 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 three new tracks in the single “Falling To Pieces”, “Back The Hell Up” and “Little Baby”.
These three represent a new dimension in the band, as they have added a little more melodic hard rockin’ bluesy-inspired tone to the music. And of course, this works perfectly since Alfonzetti has a voice just made for this, and sings these new tunes amazingly well.
If there is a full-length new album in the future this is a style that I definitely think they should continue working on. It brings the best out of the band and they could get a lot of new fans without losing any of the older ones.
As said, Skintrade rocks. “Past And Present” rocks. In a very, very good and original way.
Only released in Sweden.
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 (New Track)
14 – Back The Hell Up (New Track)
15 – Little Baby (New Track)
Matti Alfonzetti – Vocals, Guitar
Stefan Bergström – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Håkan Calmroth – Bass
Håkan Persson – Drums, Backing Vocals
George Bravo – Guitar, Backing Vocals
SKINTRADE (Matti Alfonzetti) – Past And Present (2012)
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