The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


Up Close and Personal


An acoustic stop-gap CD to thank the fans for their continuing support and to announce the rebirth of Skin. Sound good? It does to me.

As one of England’s greatest melodic hard rock bands of the nineties Skin always delivered and even though their sound changed over the years the sheer quality of their songs always shone through. Reunited thanks to the wonderful Andy Copping for a slot on the roster at Download 2009 (after Tesla and before Journey) and now with a short December tour under their belt, Skin are back and promising to release a new album in 2010.

In the interim we have both this release and a DVD ‘Re-United’ to keep us going.

Starting and ending with what are probably their two best known songs is a wise move and the acoustic treatment suits both songs particularly well. The rockier ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ reveals hidden subtleties and quickly finds its groove, whilst Tower of Strength is a majestic song in any form.

Of the new songs ‘Re-United’ shows a lot of promise and is a great candidate for electrification and should spark a powerful sing-along. ‘Do You Ever Think About Me?’ is an absolute gem of a song, wonderfully understated before building to a crescendo. ‘Redemption’ and ‘Put Me Back Together’ similarly show a lot of promise.

It’s quite interesting to hear the old songs with the acoustic treatment and you can of course always appreciate the changes. With the new songs it’s hard to envisage how the songs will be made over. Indeed it’s hard to say what the new Skin sound will be, the more melodic feel of the first album or the harder edged sound of later releases. Both would work I’m sure but if they go ‘lighter’ they could produce a melodic classic.

‘I Feel For You’ a live favourite, always had me reminded of Tom Joes doing a Prince cover and the acoustic treatment actually substantiates that thought!

‘Face to Face’ and ‘Juliet’ from the second CD ‘Lucky’ both really benefit from the acoustic treatment I’d always loved both songs and they shine in this form. It’s ‘Tripping’ however that is perhaps the best example of a song that works best in its stripped back form, there’s some beautifully delicate guitar work on the ‘Experience Electric’ song which musically is actually quite hard to pigeon-hole or date.

If you are a fan this is a great opportunity to glimpse a bit of new Skin and pick up a great CD of old favourites. If you are simply interested and love a good melody you could do worse, though I would recommend that you check out the back catalogue too.

Up Close and Personal is only available through Skin’s Official website