They often say that you should never go back. If you are Skid Row then you are probably sticking to that mantra so stubbornly that your nose is rubbed right down to the nub. The plain fact of the matter is that Sebastian Bach has created the next great “Skid Row” album without the other four guys.
That may be a bold and controversial statement to make, but it’s all there to hear. The thunderous drums that Rob Afusso laid down so mightily of Slave to The Grind and Monkey Business. The Soloing that Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill traded are all presented here.
Bach has stated in interviews that he wouldn’t put out anything that he didn’t truly believe in. He is willing to work with Rachel Bolan again just for the music, as he knows that when they get together the music/art is great… and it was. Based on Give Em Hell, Bach’s pipes are still as mighty as ever. His vocals soar to the heavens just as high and long as they ever did.
There is a change in backup duties behind Bach this time, most notably on the Bass. The four String slot is taken by ex G’n’R man Duff McKagen who also brings in the albums 2nd track “Harmony which Bach describes as a cross between a Guns and Skid Row song. I can’t disagree. It does have a ballsy kind of twang and crash to it. It has that feeling that when it gets out on the road that it’s going to have the mosh pit jumping it’s arses up and down.
Another notable addition to the writing team is John 5 who is most closely linked with Rob Zombie of late. He Co-Wrote and played on the albums fourth track “Temptation”. Whilst not one of the albums heavier songs, it does go to show that it’s not all bang your heads till your eyes bleed and your necks snap. The Guitar work is groove laden as is expected from John 5 and you never quite know where he is going to take you next.
My favourite track on the album is a cover version of April Wine’s “Rock N Roll is a Vicious Game”. I am a sucker for songs that tell a story. This is a new one on me but it is a condensed version of the same story told in the Bad Company song “Shooting Star” and numerous others. The lucky Japanese get an acoustic version of this track on their release.
All in all it’s pretty obvious that Sebastian Bach knows what his audience wants and he is bloody determined to give it to them if no one else will. In a day and age where pop tarts want to shake their backside and stick their tongues out and post a picture on Instagram for 9 seconds worth of fame, Sebastian Bach is STILL a Youth Gone Wild 25 years later.