Album Review: Burning Cities, Skids

Underwhelming return from punk firebrands.

Skids – formed in 1977 – were in at the birth of punk but never quite fit the spiky hair, bondage trousers and safety pin aesthetic. Purveyors of finely crafted rabble-rousing anthems, they had a brief run of chart success before splitting. Nearly 40 years since 1981’s Joy, Skids’ original lineup have reformed. Again.

Minus founding member Stuart Adamson, but augmented by his former Big Country band mate Bruce Watson, their fifth studio outing, Burning Cities, revisits territory explored on their earlier works. There are the familiar distorted guitars and whoa-oh-oh-oh backing vocals, and clarion calls-to-arms for a disaffected generation – even if they are now pushing retirement age.

Watson’s piercing bagpipe-tone guitar sound features prominently, notably on ‘One Last Chance’ and ‘A World On Fire’; thematically, there is a focus on war. It’s a lyrical obsession that Richard Jobson has returned to often. On ‘Subbotnik’, he growls that “War is peace and peace is war.”

Credit to Orwell for that one, but elsewhere on ‘Desert Dust’ he states – in less inspired fashion – that “I was going mad, I was going insane/Screams all around inside my brain.”

“In 1977, we were singing songs about what we saw as a world in crisis,” states Jobson in the press release. “Today that message is more relevant than ever.” I’m not so sure.



Related Articles

Album Review: The Fall, New Facts Emerge

Art-rock legends back in saddle for 3,678th LP.

Read More

Album Review: Hippopotamus, Sparks

Impressive effort from synth-pop veterans.

Read More

Album Review: Queens of the Stone Age, Villains

Brilliant comeback from Josh Homme and crew.

Read More

First Listen: Hot Press got a sneak peak at the newest release from The Horrors

Read More

Album Review: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Murder of the Universe

Prog punks deliver mighty blast.

Read More

Album Review: Chuck, Chuck Berry

Enjoyable final album from rock'n'roll pioneer.

Read More

Album Review: Love Sick Dick, Barry Adamson

Vintage effort from art-rock maverick.

Read More

Album Review: The Charlatans, Different Days

Indie legends- and assorted friends- deliver the goods

Read More

Album Review: Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spel, I Can Spin A Rainbow

An album of disquietingly beautiful ugliness

Read More

Album Review: The Afghan Whigs, In Spades

It's only rock n' roll and we like it like it...

Read More

Album Review: Pollinator, Blondie

Excellent return from new wave legends.

Read More

Album Review: The Black Angels, Death Song

Psych rock goes black magic

Read More

Album Review: Goldfrapp, Silver Eye

Uneven effort from electro-pop star

Read More

Album Review: Temples, Volcano

Solid effort from English indie hopefuls

Read More

Live Review: Teenage Fanclub at The Electric Ballroom, London

Ahead of their Dublin gig at The Academy, our London correspondent Sam Steiger checks out Teenage Fanclub in London gives us a flavour of what to expect on December 2.

Read More

Album Review: Can't Touch Us Now - Madness

Ska-pop legends in fine form on twelfth outing

Read More

Album Review: Until The Hunter, Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions

Hope sings eternal

Read More

Album Review: Jack White, Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016

Intriguing collection from alt-rock icon.

Read More

REVIEW: Chic – Live at the Marquee, Cork

Funkmaster-in-chief Nile Rodgers leads a party like no other on Leeside

Read More

Live Review: PiL in London

John Lydon leads a religious experience at Indigo O2

Read More

Album Review: The Monkees Good Times!

The Monkees are back with their first album in 20 years.

Read More

Album Review: The Coral Distance Inbetween


Read More

Album Review: The Cult Hidden City

Veteran rockers turning bruises into wine

Read More

Advertise With Us

For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below


Find us elsewhere