Album review: SKINTRADE – The Show Must Go On

Ninetone Records [Release date 17.04.20]

A few years back I went along to see The Quireboys playing in Glasgow, an excellent night as it always is with Spike and the guys. What made that night extra special was the support band, Red, White and Blues, with Myke Gray on guitar and Matt Alfonzetti on vocals. This still ranks as one of the best support slots I have had the pleasure to witness and I was very impressed with Matt’s vocal performance.

On doing a bit of digging I found out Matt also fronted Skintrade and had done for many years, although they had disbanded for a period and only regrouped again in 2011. This album is the band’s second since that reformation and it may have been six years in the making since the last release but it is well worth the wait.

‘Woman’ kicks things off with a Led Zep feel to it, a heavy bass line and jarring riff which develops into a blues rock monster. Alfonzetti’s rich and strong vocal delivery is perfect for this style of rock and the whole track draws the listener in to hear more.

‘Chosen Ones’ follows, again with a massive groove and big riffs throughout coupled with great harmonies on the chorus. The album title track ‘Show Must Go On’ slows the pace down but is no less effective with a string section added for good measure. The slower verses lead into another huge chorus with outstanding guitar work from Stefan Bergstrom.

The guys then go for a Black Star Riders twin guitar attack on the driving ‘Falling Down’ which is an all out rocker. ‘Tower’ then brings things down once more with a slow paced, bluesy feel. It is the chorus once again that hooks you in, melodic and harmonious in equal measure, these guys know how to write a killer tune.

The next track ‘Ain’t Me’ has a bit of a country feel with slide guitar work throughout but still manages to be as heavy as a bag of cement. The guys then take another twist with ‘Other Side’ which has a soulful feel with Bergstrom again shining on guitar.

The pace is then upped once more and the blues rock is back to the fore for the closing track ‘River Of Tears’ which again finds Alfonzetti in great voice.

This album is a quality product, rocking blues at it’s finest coupled with soulful ballads make this a must hear for any lovers of classic rock. I am now off to explore the band’s back catalogue…  ****

Review by Dave Wilson

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