Skid Row (Atlantic) 1989
A thundering debut but one that unfortunately had Skid Row lumped in with the Poisons and Warrants of metal due to "18 and Life" and "I Remember You". Still a great metal album with tons of memorable hooks, killer guitar leads and a some smokin' vocal performance.
Skid Row - Slave to the Grind (Atlantic) 1991
Instead of wasting our time with "18 and Life" Part II, Skid Row come back with a real heavy metal monster! There is another version of this disc with a song called "Get the F**k Out" that I also own. Picked up both for under $5 each. Like Slaughter, another band lumped in with pop crap, I didn't get into these guys until long after their popularity dropped as I never gave their music a chance.
Skid Row - B-Side Ourselves (Atlantic) 1992
I love cover albums, especially by bands who share my taste in music. Skid Row cover four of my favorites (Kiss, Judas Priest, Rush, Jimi Hendrix) and one that I have a lot of respect for and have seen live several times (the Ramones), even though I am not a collector of their music. What makes this EP even better is that Rob Halford joins the Skids for this live rendition of "Delivering the Goods." Only bad thing about this disc is that it is too short.
Skid Row - Subhuman Race (Atlantic) 1995
1. "My Enemy"
Skid Row wait until after grunge destroyed most of their contemporaries to release the follow up to their multi-platinum 'Slave to Grind.' Musically the band totally abandons the pop metal leanings and goes for a heavier, and meaner 1990's hard rock slam. Of course their love for heavy metal is still apparent, but not to the extent as on 'Slave.' A few songs even take on a punk edge, like 'Bonehead.' What really makes this disc shine however, is the outstanding vocal performance of Sebastian Bach. Without him, this would just be another in a sea of 90's hard rock crap. Another standout from the crap that was being peddled on MTV in the mid-90's are the guitar solos of Snake Sabo.Well, the change in style worked for the band, because despite not having a hit the album still charted and sold well for them. Track 14 is a silly track hidden at the end of track 13. Shortly after, the band broke up for a while, returning in '99 without Sebastian Bach to tour with Kiss.
1. "New Generation"
I've owned this album for months before finally writing something about it. To be quite honest, I just can't really get into this CD. "Thickskin" is the first Skid Row album for vocalist Johnny Solinger and drummer Phil Varone. Two new members aren't necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that the songs are an obvious attempt at the "modern rock" vibe and it just isn't very interesting. New vocalist Johnny Solinger has a decent set of pipes, but he sings in a modern rock style that just doesn't do much for me. He sounds like any number of those boring radio rock bands from the mid-1990's. It comes off as rather bland. However, having seen this incarnation of the band live, I know that Johnny can sing and nail every note that former vocalist Bas sang. So, it's not just the vocals. The opening track "New Generation" sounds like basically what every other 80's band tried in the 90s. Anyone remember Holy Soldier's "Promise Man", Def Leppard's "Slang" or Motley Crue's self titled album from 1994? That's basically the point of comparison. There are a few songs that I thought were tolerable, such as the Aerosmith influenced "Mouth of Voodoo" and "Thick is the Skin", which is a fairly decent rocker with a Pantera-like groove. Overall, however, there wasn't enough on this one to hold my interest, making "Thickskin" one of those collection filers and not much more.
Skid Row sans Sebastian Back release their second full length studio album. The follow-up to the abysmal "Thickskin" is actually tolerable, and maybe even fun. Overall, the songs have a lose, punk rock edge to them with a snotty vocal delivery. "Revolutions Per Minute" is far, far different from the band that gave us "Youth Gone Wild", "Monkey Business" and "I Remember You", but I guess you can't expect a band to stay the same forever, especially when a big part of that band is not longer around. Skid Row sans Sebastian Bach is a hard pill to swallow for most fans, including myself. It's just not the same animal. Having said that, I did find "Revolutions Per Minute" to be enjoyable, even though it's a bit disjoined.
The album starts of with "Disease", a decent hard rocker with a lot of drive. This song is about as close to Skid Row's past as you are gonna get on this CD. "Another Dick in the System" is a straight forward, up-tempo rocker with a punk influence. "Pulling My Heart" is a simple rocker with a sing along chorus. "When God Can't Wait" is a raunchy punk rocker. "Shut Up Baby, I Love You" is another rockin' tune with a punk edge. "Strength" is hard rock with metal melodic guitars, nice background vocals and a sweet chorus. "White Trash" returns to the punk edge with cynical and socially critical lyrics. "You Lie" is a total rockabilly song. Listen to this one and walk away without it sticking to your brain. Reminds me of something Anthrax or Nuclear Assault might have done as a joke b-side. "Nothing" is another song that rides a fence between melodic hard rock and punk. "Love is Dead" brings back a sound closer to what you would expect from Skid Row and is reminiscent of album opener "Disease". "Let It Ride" closes the album with another straight forward hard rock song with a shouted chorus.
As good as Johnny Solinger is as a vocalist, he will always live in the shadow of Sebastian Bach. It would be like someone trying to replace Steven Tyler in Aerosmith. The singer helps define the sound of the band. Still, even Joe Perry delivered a couple of solid albums outside of Aerosmith with a different singer. "Revolutions Per Minute" is definitely a different Skid Row than what most fans are use to, but if that prejudice can be put aside, it's actually not bad. The band combines metal, hard rock and punk all into one to offer something a bit different than the norm.