From the moment a huge distorted drum intro leads into chunky opener ‘I Will Break You’, right through to penultimate smutty riff-fest ‘Sticky Fingers in Your Honey’, it’s starkly obvious that the reunited, rejuvenated Skunk Anansie are back and taking no prisoners this time around.

Their melodic, poppy full length return from solo-project wilderness, 2010’s ‘Wanderlust’, while full of strong songs and performances, had nowhere near this amount of bite and venom.

For those who grew to love the band because of the fiery political debut ‘Paranoid and Sunburnt’, this will be a much welcomed return to the 'rawk'.

Even the snappier pop tunes like ‘Sad Sad Sad’, ‘Spit You Out’ (featuring French electro-rockers Shaka Ponk) and ‘I Believed in You’ are fast, economic and punky in a way not explored since the band’s earliest B-sides.

Not that this record is in any way under-polished: fresh electronic elements rub convincingly up against Ace’s layered, effected guitars and brit-rock uber-producer Chris Sheldon (famous for work on classics by Biffy Clyro, Feeder and Therapy? amongst others) bringing a sheen and scope to this record not seen since their 1999 ‘Post Orgasmic Chill’. Much like that record, Black Traffic is not just a bag of mega-riffs and bombastic beats topped off with anti-corporate diatribes and dirty sex talk – this band are way too multi-talented and diversely skilled for that kind of a one trick pony ride.

Skin’s voice has been one of the finest in the music world since her explosion into the public consciousness back in the mid 90s and to waste it would be a crime, proved more than adeptly by ballad ‘I Hope You Get To Meet Your Hero’ and the U2-esque ‘Drowning’ - both featuring typically gorgeous string arrangements by orchestrator to the stars with more than a few classics under his own belt Wil Malone.

By the time one reaches the epic ‘This Is Not A Game’, it’s easy to be a bit overwhelmed by the power and talent on display - it’s almost unbelievable that they could pull it off anywhere but in a Pro-Tools based studio - a thought quickly put to rest when seeing this song played live (an arena in which where SA are almost unsurpassable) where it is, believe it or not, even better!

Now shorn of any major label affiliation and unconcerned with modern celebrity, you may not hear lots about Skunk Anansie’s return from the mainstream radio or press - ironically and yet typically at the time they could most use it, being independent and we could, what with convincing rock music being a scarce commodity of late!

But please believe, they’re back with a vengeance and this whirlwind of a record sounds like it’s just the beginning… anyone in any doubt should try going and playing in the (Black) Traffic for a while!