Skin - Fake Chemical State

In November last year Skin played a low key tour, released a download only singe and proved that's she's keener than ever three years after her solo debut album "Fleshwounds". Skin spent a year in her adopted home of Ibiza writing the follow up, culminating in "Fake Chemical State" which has more of a heavier, strident live feel, like a more mature Skunk Anansie, but in many ways the diversity and experience she's had as both a musician and performer has made her a stronger songwriter.

The majority of the tracks on this album are co-written by ex-Mansun frontman Paul Draper and recorded with Strokes producer Gordon Raphael. What great company she's keeping? On "Moving" Skin sounds richer and more textured vocally on this mid-tempo ballad which has a chorus reminiscent of "Weak". "Purple", another ballad, features frail vocals but a beautifully realized honesty from a woman who has definitely suffered for her art. There's a haunting and eerie ambience which elevates this as one of the best tracks on the album.

Rock fans rejoice because "Take Me On" will surely inspire the moshing of yore. Heavy dub bass is so trippy which Skin so energized she sounds like she's fronting a new band rather than selected session musicians. "You've got a face like television which needs switching off" our favourite black, bald, punk rock princess wails like a screaming banshee. Weird synth loops, a shouty chorus and a defiantly uncompromising mischievous edge make this the perfect candidate for Skin's next single, V2 take note.

The album ends with "Falling For You" is a slow chilled out track with Skin's husky vocals being bathed by the restrained instrumentation which is heavenly

"Fake Chemical State" has the rock elements of her former band with the more delicate direction of Skin's debut solo album meaning we get the best of both worlds. Check her out on the forthcoming tour because she has to be seen to be believed.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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