Released by: AOR Heaven
Release Date: March 3rd, 2014
Genre: Hard Rock
Matti Alfonzetti – Vocals, Guitars
Hakan Masen Persson – Drums, Vocals
Håkan Calmroth – Bass
Stefan Bergström– Guitar, Vocals
03 Pay In Blood
04 Hardcore MF Heartattack
05 Close My Eyes
06 Getting Away With Murder
08 Been To The Bottom
09 Worse Than Wasted
10 Dying In Your Arms
11 Wild One
12 Look Me In The Eye
Back in the day, Skintrade were set to have a fantastic career, initially landing tours with Motorhead, DAD, and Therapy. Formed in 1991 with a debut in 1993 and follow up in 1995, the band split up at the end of that year with the members going their separate ways.
Matti Alfonzetti in particular has been very visible in the intervening years having pursued a career with the likes of Jagged Edge (With Myke Gray), Boxer, Impera and reuniting with Myke Gray again which led to playing at Download 2012, with the band Red, White And Blues.
Alfonzetti is clearly a hard worker. Juggling his time with so many bands in recent years (he’s had output with Impera, Red White & Blues, a solo release and now this in the last couple of years) you would be right to wonder if he has spread his talent a little too thinly and perhaps the output will suffer. However fear not as opening track ‘Monster’ gets things off to an excellent start. Reminiscent of ‘Trash’ era Alice Cooper, ‘Monster’ has a huge bass driven rhythm section driving the track whilst Alfonzetti and Co. chant “I’m a Monster” over the top of it all.
‘Liar’ with its excellent hook and chorus including the line “you’re such a damn liar…” show Alfonzetti stretching the vocals chords and extend his range proving why so many bands of late want him to front them. Stefan Bergström gets to flex his skills with some intricate solos too making you wonder why the gap between releases given the positive start they had has gone on for so long.
The tracks flow neatly and given the lengthy break the band have had, they’ve done a very, very good job of making the album sound relevant to the modern music scene. It’s a very crunchy production from Swedish co-Producer / Engineer Oscar Ammer and should see the album being picked up by fans of Stone Sour as much as fans of H.E.A.T.
It’s refreshing to hear bands that are comfortable with ‘real’ guitar solos again and Refuelled is not short of them. Listen to ‘Hardcore MF Heartattack’ and it’s guaranteed to generate a grin as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge as vocals and guitar trade blows. Even on ‘Close My Eyes’ the first ballad of the album, the style still retains the heavier rhythm which stops it from being just another ‘lighters in the air’ song.
‘Getting Away With Murder’, ‘Mountain’, ‘Worse Than Wasted’ all maintain the style of the first half of the album and it’s fair to say there is no filler on here at all. ‘Been to the Bottom’ is a whiskey fuelled moment of despair and you can almost picture the video being set in a darkly lit dive with Alfonzetti sat at the bar looking back on life…
The 12 track album bows out with ‘Dying in Your Arms’, ‘Wild One’ and ‘Look Me in The Eye’. ‘Wild One’ is the natural follow up to ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ and one JBJ would have loved to have written himself. ‘Look Me in The Eye’ would be the perfect show closer and it’s easy to imagine the audience bouncing to the crunchy / riff driven intro.
For lovers of crunchy, riff driven hard rock, strong bluesy vocals, hooks that you can hang a shark off and choruses that stick in your head for days to come, you need look no further. Lets hope that the band gets the chance to repeat the successes of the early 1990s. Although it’s a nice position to be in, it is going to be hard work for Alfonzetti to manage this, Red, White and Blues plus potentially more work with Impera as well. I’d suggest he gets Jeff Scott Soto on speed dial asap for tips!
Written by Adrian