Paranoid & Sunburnt (Epic)
by Joshua Brown
It’s no secret that Hollywood rockers and their protegés of years past have slipped from their cock-shaped thrones on the very spandex that got them there and covered their asses throughout the 1980s. So one may wonder who, if anyone, is qualified (or crazy enough) to carry the hot potato of heavy metal as we approach the end of the millennium. Well, in the United States we have White Zombie and Korn, who are more than psycho enough to make it work for them. But the island that brought us Sabbath, Priest, Motörhead, et al, has been relatively silent in the metal category in recent years, preferring instead to export recycled Beatles. It took a black lesbian skinhead from England and her crew of misfits, who call themselves Skunk Anansie, to stand apart from the crowd of John and Paul impersonators.
The music itself is a very stinky (in British slang that means good) blend of funk (pumped up Bootsy Collins), metal (Zombie and Whitesnake?), and rap (a beautifully black beat and attitude [though two of the four members are white] predominates underneath it all). With two societal strikes against her/under her belt, singer Skin’s voice exhibits enough strength to not only rise above her own perceived predicament, but also to bring displaced masses to their feet and take what’s rightfully theirs. We saw a movie depiction of the Skunk Anansie phenomenon at the end of the film Strange Days. Let’s hope it takes shape in the real world.