‘Slave To The Grind’
1991 release from Atlantic Records.
Sebastian Bach – Vocals. Dave “The Snake” Sabo – Guitar, backing vocals. Scotti Hill – Guitar, backing vocals. Rachel Bolan – Bass, backing vocals. Rob Affuso – Drums.
Artist location: New Jersey.
5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Monkey Business.
- Slave To The Grind.
- The Threat.
- Quicksand Jesus.
- Psycho Love.
- Get The Fuck Out.
- Livin’ On A Chain Gang.
- In A Darkened Room.
- Riot Act.
- Wasted Time.
- Beggar’s Day (replacement track for ‘Get The Fuck Out‘ on amended version).
- Holidays In The Sun (Sex Pistols cover. Japanese bonus track. Originally released on the ‘Stairway To Heaven/Highway To Hell‘ compilation).
- Get The Fuck Out (Live. Japanese bonus track).
- Delivering The Goods (Live Judas Priest cover. Japanese bonus track).
Skid Row released their eponymous debut record in 1989 and the world was introduced to a young Canadian powerhouse by the name of Sebastian Bach,
and the sleaze rock genre was forever changed.
Now there were, and still are, plenty of singers who can hit ungodly high notes that can pierce your eardrums, shatter glass and, if you were like me, have you going hoarse trying to attempt to sing along with the screams, but very few do it with such a flare, such an attitude and with the sheer power that Bach has.
I remember seeing the music video for the first single of the record, ‘Youth Gone Wild‘, and hearing that voice and being absolutely floored. And I was instantly a fan.
The album ended up going 5x Platinum, and rightly so. With classics like ‘18 And Life‘, ‘I Remember You‘ and one of my favorites, ‘Big Guns‘, the debut album was, and remains still, a staple in my collection and many other’s collections as well.
Well I doubt many were expecting the band to return with another home run of a record with their sophomore release after having a debut of that strength, but in 1991 Skid Row hit the world again with their in-your-face rock n’ roll and, perhaps the greatest sleaze rock album of all time in my opinion, ‘Slave To The Grind‘.
Now some will argue with me over this as many folks view the debut as the band’s best, and it is an amazing record to be sure. But for me this second one just tops it in every way.
With balls to the walls tracks like ‘Monkey Business‘ and ‘Slave To The Grind‘ starting the album off, and when that first trademarked scream of Bas’ hit at the beginning of ‘Monkey Business‘, I knew I was in for a ride with the record.
‘The Threat‘ comes in at track three and amazingly this was the first song that I heard from this album, and I adored it that first time and still do to this day. It still remains one of my favorite rockers from the band and it leads us into another of my absolute favorite Skid Row songs, the awesome power ballad ‘Quicksand Jesus‘. I love that song! Amazing delivery from Bach here and those screams at the end…just awesome.
‘Psycho Love‘ is a fast paced rocker and it takes us to a spot that has the potential for two different tracks.
First, if you have the unedited version of the album, you have the rocker ‘Get The Fuck Out‘, which is exactly what it sounds like it would be, a vulgar, kick ass rock n’ roller.
Or, the amended version replaces that track with the song ‘Beggar’s Day‘, another fast rocker that is every bit as good as any other song present on the album. You really can’t go wrong with either version of the album, or if you are like me you have both.
‘Livin’ On A Chain Gang‘ is another awesome rocker that features an incredible performance from Sebastian and is another of my favorites.
‘Creepshow‘ continues on with that same fast, rocking pace before things settle down a bit for great ballad with ‘In A Darkened Room‘. Another outstanding vocal on this one.
‘Riot Act‘ and ‘Mudkicker‘ are both hard and heavy rockers on par with songs like the title track and they lead to the final track of the regular version of the album, ‘Wasted Time‘. This is a fantastic power ballad that ends the record on an excellent note.
Three bonus tracks are available on the Japanese import version of the album.
The first track is a cover of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Holidays In The Sun‘. This song is also available on the Make A Difference compilation album ‘Stairway To Heaven/Highway To Hell‘.
The second and third tracks are live. The first is a live version of ‘Get The Fuck Out‘ and the second is a live cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Delivering The Goods‘ with Rob Halford. This song is also available on the EP by the same title and on the EP ‘B-Side Ourselves‘.
I have seen Bach live a few times now and he is someone who always brings a great show with him and always gives it his all. An incredible singer that, along with the rest of the band (which includes Dave “The Snake” Sabo who was one of the original Bon Jovi members prior to them finding any fame) sound absolutely fantastic here.
Chances are pretty much everyone here has this album, has had this album, or at the least, has heard this album by this point in time, but if it somehow slipped by you or if you are too young to remember it and are fans of the band or of sleaze rock then go check it out right away.
Very highly recommended.
‘Get The Fuck Out’.
‘Livin’ On A Chain Gang’.
‘In A Darkened Room’.