Burning Cities

No Bad Records

It has has been 36 years since Joy, the last album by the trailblazing Scots post-punkers, and front man Richard Jobson and crew have decided to show there are more strings to their bow than recent mainly nostalgia-heavy live outings. The passing 16 years ago of original guitarist Stuart Adamson who wrote the music raised questions over whether they could still cut it.

Any sense of trepidation of an unlikely renaissance is soon blasted away with an album that refuses to accept it's the end and is determined to keep true to the past, while striving to remain relevant.

It gets off to a promising start with the breast-beating This Is Our World and continues with the foot-stomping One Last Dance, the first on the album to have the stamp of the bagpipe-guitar Adamson introed in early Skids material and made familiar with Big Country.

The sneering Kings Of The New World Order is prime Skids and an instant fans favourite while they slow the tempo just twice in 11 tracks with the uplifting and haunting Refugee a highlight. Skids albums were never the most consistent. But in 2018, the band may just have produced their most dependably catchy and anthemic collection of tunes.

Martin Williams