on 29 October 2006
When Skid Row parted ways with frontman and all-round larger than life big mouth Sebastian Bach back in 1996 most fans thought this was the last we'd seen of the band and that Bach himself would go on to even greater success.How wrong we were with the rangy, girly-haired singer having minor success in a broadway musical and on varying TV programmes while his former bandmates reformed in 1999 with a new frontman Johnny Solinger who does a pretty decent impression of his predecessor (but with slightly more manly hair!)
It's hard to remember that in 1992 Skid Row were absolutely massive, playing that years Donington "Monsters of Rock" beneath only the legendary Iron Maiden. However as with many bands that get back together for whatever reason( and surely this one can't be for the money!) the reality is of a once great band playing to ever diminishing returns. That said though "Revolutions per Minute", their second album since reforming, is not a total disaster with the opening trio of songs filled with the same crunchy guitars and punky edge that made them the only band of the "hair metal" generation worth listening to. "When God Can't Wait" has echoes of the Pogues or Rancid and even The Alarm cover is pretty good. On "Shut Up Baby I Love you" and "White Trash" especially, Solinger pulls off the sneery, bratty vocal style of his predecessor with aplomb. Only "You Lie" with its distincly country feel is a disaster and why they feel the need to add an almost identical version of it as a bonus track is baffling.
Generally speaking if you are expecting another "Slave to the Grind" or something like the band that blew Slayer off the Donington stage in 1996 you'll be disappointed but if you leave your preconceptions at the door you'll find and enjoyable, if slightly disposable album. The ball's in your court now Sebastian.
on 30 October 2006
Skid Row have never been a predictable band. Having produced a big selling hair metal debut album, they seemed destined for greatness. At that point, however, they chose to go for a much heavier sound. And, good though second album Slave to the grind was, it was never going to repeat the chart success that they'd enjoyed with the early singles '18 and life' and 'I remember you'.
This is now their 5th studio album, and their second in the post-Bach era. The surprise they've sprung this time is to include an out and out country stomper (You Lie) and a punk/country flavoured song (When God can't wait) which could easily pass as a Pogues song. It won't be to everyone's tastes, but I've found the album very infectious. It is the sound of a band having fun, and trying to push their musical boundaries. The most striking thing I took from seeing this band live is the amount of passion that they have for their music and it's evident in the vitality that this album contains.
It's not all experimentation however. There's also plenty of loud riff-soaked songs to keep the hardcore metal fans happy (Disease, Another dick in the system, Strength, Let it ride). 'When God can't wait' is arguably the most leftfield song on the album - very reminiscent of The Pogues! - but my personal favourite is 'White Trash'. It's a riotous hook-laden song about the white trash lifestyle. Repeat after me: `I want to be white trash / and sit around on my fat ass / so many hours in the day / to p*ss my life away'.
Just two gripes. Firstly, was it really necessary to include the second version of the You Lie song? And, secondly, the absence of an out and out power ballad on the album. That's something that some fans may consider as a plus but, for me, there is no better proponent of that art than Skid Row.
on 15 September 2007
This is the sound of a band enjoying themselves enough to come up with the goods that takes on a punk rock approach that hardly matches the albums they made with original lead singer Sebastian Bach.
Its a start to finish album as every track like Strength, You Lied, White Trash, are brimming with quality.
this album alone gets 5/5