Skindred – Smile

Skindred - Smile



4.6/5 Pros

  • Unique blend of different genres
  • Very versatile, entertaining mix of genres

What about some reggae summer vibes on 4th August 2023? Okay, there are also elements of rock, dub, punk and even metal in the music by Skindred, who release their new album Smile on that day. It is their first release after five years. I received the album before its release and felt to share my thoughts with you.


Skindred – About The Artists

Skindred have been found in 1998 in Newport in Wales. Nowadays, they are a quintet consisting of singer Benji Webbe, guitarist Milkey Demus, bassist Daniel Pugsley, drummer Arja Goggin and Dan Sturgess (DJ and sampling). Webbe and Pugsley are founding members of the band. Despite being a British band, their first chart entry was by their debut album Babylon, which just made it into the US-American Billboard album charts. However, the epicenter of their success more and more moved towards their home country. For example, their previous release Big Tings (2018) topped the British Metal Charts.


Skindred – Smile – Track by Track

The twelve song album lasts 43 minutes. I initially had a different order of songs for my review – hope this is the right one.

1. Our Religion

Smile is already the eighth album by the British band. The song comes with a typical crossover sound. No doubt that Skindred wanted to have an intense guitar sound here. However, there are also alternative elements reminding of gospel and hip hop in the opener. It is just too hard to define this band by one single, simple genre.

2. Gimme That Boom

Just gimme that boom boom boom – the song is definitely coming with a lot of boom. The sound is even more energetic and powerful than the opener. The guitars are running at full power, Benji Webbe is presenting a firework of different vocal styles. The result is a very present, catching song.

3. Set Fazers

This single release starts a bit slower, but then is having sprinkles of rather bombast elements as well. Nonetheless, Set Fazers is a showcase for the lead vocalist of the band.

4. Life That’s Free

Similar to its predecessor, Life That’s Free starts rather slow. The song has a clear reggae heart, even though it soon develops a rock song character. The wide range of influences by different genres leads to a entertaining, versatile listen.

5. If I Could

If I Could is one of the best songs of the album. Some parts feel like a gentle rock ballad – just in order to quickly change into a straight rock song with hip hop elements. The chorus, which feels like a very straight 2000’s rocker, is made to stay in your mind.

6. L.O.V.E. (Smile Please)

This track is somehow the hidden title track of the album. The girls’ choir alike in the shouts, combined with the brass sounds and the reggae vibes lead to a really groovy listen.

7. This Appointed Love

The reggae style lives on the next song, The Appointed Love. Almost the full first minute of This Appointed Love in fact feels like a reggae track, before Skindred release their guitar powers. It might sound weird at first sight – but the Welsh really make this combination of sounds work out well.

8. Black Stars

The choir of L:O.V.E. (Smile Please) is back in this one (at least at the beginning). On top of that, there are police sirens, nu metal and a lot of force and aggression.

9. State of the Union

State of the Union is a nice summer hit. The song feels like a reggae-pop-hip hop blend, there are just scattered rock sprinkles. Very groovy sound, which even comes with a lot of mainstream radio potential. Very nice one.

10. Addicted

With some traffic sounds at the beginning, hip sounds and reggae vibes, the song reminds me of large town life. The chorus is very rocking and melodic, though. While I typically love the balance between the different genres in this album, I slightly struggle with Addicted. The bridge is nice, though.

11. Mama

This band is making me smile. Mama is a straight reggae song with a cool groove. Compared to other songs, the band feels so clean, almost innocent in songs like this.

12. Unstoppable

Unstoppable is the chucker-out of the album. The song has a stronger rock and metal character again, but also comes with groovy, fluent melodies. Nice one to close Smile.


Skindred – Smile – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


Skindred – Smile – My View

These guys fascinate me and make me Smile (a straight way to use the album title). In most of the songs, they combine genres, which you would swear they don’t work together. Skindred simply does it – and ctreate a unique, really cool sound. I feel once in your life, you should listen to a Skindred album – and maybe you listen to some more ones thereafter.


Skindred – Tour 2023/24

After playing some festivals this summer, Skindred are playing quite a bunch of songs from October 2023 until early 2024.

Fr 06.10.2023 Northampton (United Kingdom) – Roadmender
Sa 07.10.2023 Leeds – O2 Academy Leeds
Fr 13.10.2023 Cambridge – Cambridge Junction
Sa 14.10.2023 Norwich – Epic Studios
Th 19.10.2023 Nottingham – Rock City
Fr 20.10.2023 Newcastle – NX Newcastle
Sa 21.10.2023 Glasgow – The Garage
Th 26.10.2023 Margate – Dreamland
Fr 27.10.2023 Brighton – Chalk
Sa 28.10.2023 Bristol – O2 Academy Bristol
Fr 3.11.2023 Sheffield – Leadmill
Sa 04.11.2023 Lincoln – The Engine Shed
Fr 10.11.2023 Cardiff – The Great Hall
Sa 11.11.2023 Southampton – O2 Guildhall Southampton
Fr 17.11.2023 Belfast – Limelight
Sa 18.11.2023 Dublin (Ireland) – The Academy
We 29.11.2023 Leipzig (Germany) – Täubchenthal
Th 30.11.2023 Frankfurt – Batschkapp
Fr 01.12.2023 Prague (Czechia) – Lucerna Music Bar
Sa 02.12.2023 Vienna (Austria) – Simm City
Mo 04.12.2023 Zurich (Switzerland) – Dynamo
Tu 05.12.2023 Munich (Germany) – Backstage
We 06.12.2023 Karlsruhe – Substage
Su 10.12.2023 Berlin – Metropol
Tu 12.12.2023 Hamburg – Markthalle
We 13.12.2023 Cologne – Live Music Hall
Th 14.12.2023 Paris (France) – Trabendo
Fr 15.12.2023 Amsterdam (Netherlands) – Melkweg
Th 14.03.2024 Manchester (United Kingdom) – Manchester Academy
Fr 15.03.2024 London – OVO Arena Wembley
Sa 16.03.2024 Birmingham – O2 Arena Birmingham



Here are all my postings related to reggae music:


Postings with Tour Dates 2023

Here are postings released in 2023, which contain tour dates:

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