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Slave to the Grind

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(69 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Guns n’ Roses and Skid Row were by far and away my two favorite bands during the late 80s/early 90s. In truth, Skid was a distant second, but second nontheless. They toured together in the summer of 1992 and I got the chance to see them when they came to my hometown. Wow! What a show. I had their first one and was expecting more “18 and life”, and “I remember you” type stuff. “In a Darkened Room”, “Quicksand Jesus”, and “Wasted Time” are in that same mold. But, the rest of this disc is heavy metal at its absolute finest.

    “Monkey Business”, “Slave to the Grind”, “Living on a Chain Gang”, and “Mudkicker” are some of the heaviest and best songs ever recorded. Heavy doesn’t always make it good. Hard rocking doesn’t always make it heavy. But it all comes together – completely together – on Slave to the Grind. What these guys did on this disc is absolutely amazing. This is no doubt a timeless classic.

    Posted on December 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Skid Row’s “Slave to the Grind” is SKID ROW at their best! On this album the band was clearly working together as a unit, and the styles of the various songs are diverse as the personalities that formed this incredible band. Sebastian Bach once again used his impressive voice to deliver the goods. Overall, the sound on this album is more aggressive than SKID ROW’S first effort. At times the lyrics seemed to focus more on negativity than rebellion. Still, overall, the album deserves a place in every collection. I know it will always be high on the “play list” in my own collection. Any fan of Sebastian Bach’s vocals will especially appreciate this album since now, ten years later, they can listen to his first solo effort and hear him sing six of the songs from this album again, live, and better than ever.

    Posted on December 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • ok. let me begin with a disclaimer: i do not, in any way, shape, or form, condone eighties hair metal (featuring, Poison and their ilk). but i like Skid Row. A LOT. and it kind of [irritates] me off that such a great hard rock band is so carelessly lumped in with all of that other spandex/hairspray trash. so Sebastian Bach had great hair. so what? he also had a great voice. no, INCREDIBLE. breathtaking. moving, emotional, expressive, clear, POWERFUL, big and beautiful. just a few adjectives. for those of you who denounced the Skids after listening to their admittedly weaker debut, don’t pass them off for Bon Jovi just yet. other than the obvious “Youth Gone Wild,” “Eighteen & Life,” and “I Remember You” (guilty aural pleasures for anyone who was seventeen in the summer of 1989), the debut was really no more that pop metal fluff with a little bit of an extra edge on what everyone else was doing. so do yourself a favor and give “Slave to the Grind” the chance it deserves. For me, this record almost surpasses “Appetite for Destruction” by the late, great Guns’N'Roses. With the exception of 2 weak songs, “Riot Act” and “Creepshow,” there is truly not a dull moment. This album was Skid Row’s rite of passage, their coming into their own in the rock world. it’s a representation of their departure from the generic metal of their debut. Yeah, the hard songs kick, big time. But no matter how hardcore a rocker you are, there is absolutely no denying “In a Darkened Room” and “Wasted Time.” Oh, my God. I had always thought Sebastian Bach was hot. I ain’t gon’ lie. But it really wasn’t until i heard his voice on these two songs, pleading, bleeding, needing, and tortured, that i really fell in love with the man. he is just spectacular. these two songs are my idea of exactly what a song should be. no matter what’s going on, as long as they’re playing, all is KOOL in my world. so, in conclusion to my rather lengthy review (i love this record so much that i didn’t even say a quarter of what i’d wanted to), i just want to say that you would be doing yourself a great injustice if you didn’t get this record. you owe it to yourself! (and to Sebastian just because of that voice of his. LOVE YOU, BAZ!!!) Did i go over 1,000 words?

    Posted on December 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Slave to the Grind is the absolute epitome of Southern American Hard rock, from the same school as Blackfoot. The Guns ‘n’ Roses comparison is tempting, but GnR have a completely different style overall (with the exception of maybe “Welcome to the Jungle”) and, as a vocalist, Axel Rose sounds positively weedy and strangled next to Mr Bach’s mighty lungs. It must also be noted that Slash’s solos lack the tight structures of Sabo’s. This is not to say that one is better than the other, of course!I should really award 4 stars, as this album does contain weaker tracks, which I would not normally allow in an album that I would consider a classic. Yet STTG raises itself proudly above its weaker moments with awesome strength and masterful rifferama.The Bon Jovi comparisons are obvious – especially as JBJ himself “discovered” Skid Row (or should that be Skid Row II? The original SR was headed by none other than a 16-year old Gary Moore). Any comparisons with speed metal – especially Motorhead – are totally ridiculous. The title track is the fastest track on the album and, as has been pointed out many times, it kicks… But it’s not speed metal in the sense that Kill ‘Em All is a speed metal album (not thrash). STTG may have a back beat, but there are no intense moments of pure amphetamine fuelled double-bass drum/thrashed bass/single note ecstasy here – it’s just very fast, very hard rock and roll in it’s most undiluted form.In a Darkened Room gives me shivers up and down my spine just by typing the title and hearing snippets running through my head. That is how good a ballad it is. I do not really consider the lyrics to be poetry, except in the “sheer bloody…” sense. When you’ve cracked open a few tinnies, or simply got the car stereo cranked right up, you don’t necessarily want Marillion-esque depth to the words, you just want something to scream out. This album fulfils that role with aplomb = every song is incredibly singable – in fact, if you sing the “weaker” songs, they seem to acquire a new strength. Get the F*ck Out was a…take of Extreme’s single of the time “Get the Funk Out”…Skid row re-define the pallette for their genre of hard rock with the remaining tracks, but just having the two greats of Darkened Room and the title track on the album give the rest of the music a context to work in. Hence, the album can be enjoyed as an entity from start to finish and seems to work best in the order it is presented in. This is what makes it a classic. The lights and shades deftly managed by artists working completely intuitively. Great artists strive for this intuitive feeling to come through their work, and often only achieve it a handful of times. Think Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones, the Beatles (White Album) and Radiohead’s OK Computer. I’m not saying Skid Row are in the same league as those premiership luminaries, but that this album shares the same qualities of greatness. The whole feeling of a journey is there from start to finish – and that feeling at the end of having arrived somewhere. This is often accompanied by dissatisfaction, in the sense that it is better to travel than to arrive, and there is a powerful urge to start the whole thing over. In other words, it sounds best on repeat! You will be able to listen to it in 20 years time and hear something fresh in there. I guarantee it. But you will also, of course, feel the need to put it aside for a while and consume lighter music until your palette screams out for more.If it’s not already in your collection buy it. If you don’t like it immediately, there’s nothing wrong – you weren’t given bad advice. Like any great work, some of the finer points take a while to pick up on – and this album is no exception to that rule!

    Posted on December 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • When Nirvana became huge and forever changed the face of rock, bands that had been huge were instantly killed overnight. A lot of these bands were awful (Slaughter, Trixter) and the world was better off without them. But some bands were unfairly thrown to the wolves. Any hint of being a pop-metal band was the kiss of death in ‘92. Unfortunately for Skid Row, many lumped the band in with the hair-metal crowd, and they were one of grunge’s causalities. This was a real shame, because Skid Row was a great band, and their sophomore album “Slave to the Grind” remains great record.

    I would argue that Skid Row was second only to Guns N’ Roses, as the best hard rock/metal band of the late 80s, early 90s. Skid Row was one of the last few bands, before the rise of the popularity of Grunge, to have some originality and creativity. Their self titled debut album was a little generic, but it still rocked harder than most of their peers (Warrant, Poison) and is a classic 80s rock debut. But it was their second album “Slave to the Grind” that Skid Row really took off.

    “Slave to the Grind” is far heavier and meaner than the debut album. It sounds like “Appetite For Destruction” era Guns N’ Roses meets Pantera. The songs are heavy, and in-your-face, yet also highly melodic, and filled with killer solos. Singer Sebastian Bach has a very distinct set of pipes that make him unique and set him apart from all the generic David Lee Roth wannabe singers from the late 80s. Snake Sabo may not be the most gifted guitar player ever, but he sure came up with terrific, catchy riffs and solos.

    It’s hard to choose any standouts, because really the whole CD rocks, top to bottom. This is easily one of the best metal albums of all-time. Unlike the debut album, this album doesn’t sound dated. It sounds as good today as it did in ‘91. I would highly recommend this CD to hard rock/metal fans.

    Posted on December 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now