The threat known as Skid Row wield their addle axes again makin' a mess, with more monkey business. These dixie dregs of the subhuman race against time and tempo have returned re-amped at 100 r.p.m.s, with their big guns blazin'. After the exodus of frontman Sebastian Bach, many fans forsook the band and followed Bach's illustrious solo career. I was one of these fickle fans, who no longer became a slave to the grind, when the mudkickers told Bach "To get the fu*k out!". Now, after hearing the new Skid Row release - Revolutions Per Minute, I'm a fan again, celebrating the moribund dance, as I remember my youth gone wild. Thick is the skin of this band tattoed, battered, and bruised, and they have wasted no time willingly worthy to withstand all obstacles, having endured so much heartache and useless lies. Skid Row have essentially reinvented themselves for a new generation.
Many of us Motley Crue fans did not appreciate the direction they chose for their self titled outing with John Corabi; especially when Vince Neil's initial solo effort was far superior. I know it's pure blasphemy to suggest Accept's Eat The Heat, the only album without UDO, to further my point. Recently. I've been playing Eat The Heat, and even though it is a major departure from the classic Accept sound, Dave Reece is an awesome bluesy vocalist. Playing these anathematized CDs, has opened up various vistas - pulling my metal heart out from under me, thus encouraging me to enjoy the new Skid Row for exactly what it is: a kick ass - in your face - true tornado of soul and derring do; the ultimate riot act!
The band adequately demonstrate their awareness of several genres as compelling and intriguing influences, especially the punk and belligerence of timely rockers like T.S.O.L., New Model Army, The Ramones, and The Sex Pistols. There are also aspects of the country/western and bluegrass elements popularized in the 80's by bands like Dangerous Toys and D.A.D.; and of course, a quaint nodd to the classic 70's style, evidenced by the track Nothing.
This is because the gung-ho courtship of Skid Row's writing team remains constant and consistent. Rachel Bolan, Dave "Snake" Sabo, and Scotti Hill all experiment with the same medicine jar. These guitarists are besides themselves with envy for the past, and plans for the future. They lay their proverbial cards on the table, and let it ride by again delivering the goods with songwriting which is nothing shy of strength, adrenaline, and attitude when it comes to top-notch musicianship. These white trash hooligans fron Jersey, with new drummer Dave Gara, spread the social disease of blood, sluts, and rock 'n roll with hate fueled melodies of ironwill; which simply suggests that love is deadly, and rock rules!.
Their obvious choice as vocalist, Johnny Solinger, is appropos, apparent, and well-determined. This Texas rager emphatically expresses the laws of Skid Row with ambitious deliverance. He is an almalgamation of John Corabi, Dave Reece, Whitfield Crane, Brett Michaels, and Jason McMaster, and yes at times, even Bach himself. The new Skid Row rouse is not the MTV friendly fluff of the 80's though; instead, it is balls out bitter angst! Here I am to tell you, that Revolutions Per Minute is 100% bonifide Skid Row without the bonehead Bach's soliloqouy. The opener Disease and last track Let It Ride embody the brazen Skid Row real Youth Gone Wild/Slave To The Grind vibe.
Maybe this is because Skid Row have once again enlisted Michael Wagener to produce RPM. The 90's influences also weigh heavy as songs like Another Dick In The System remind me of Janes Addiction; while, Pulling My Heart Out From Under Me carries that heart-shaped boxed in Nirvana teen spirit. Since Skid Row were originally called Nirvana, this may carry a double entendre'. One band I really hear pronounced, given the southern flavored melodies of certain tracks, is Dangerous Toys. When God Can't Wait plays, with its Country-eyed Joe jostle, this is an edifying example, so is Shut Up Baby, I Love You. Two other stellar 90's bands come to mind as the CD revolves - Warrior Soul and Lillian Axe. Warrior Soul always balanced several layers into their musical mix, and Kory Clarke, who now sings for Dirty Rig, was an exceptional vocalist.
Lillian Axe also never wrote the same album twice, leaving their music beyond description. This artistic and rustic thought pattern prevails throughout this CD, with allusions to both bands. The cover of The Alarm song - Strength is quite befitting as Warrior Soul and Lillian Axe always wrote albums outside of the box. I also detect a certain degree of Ugly Kid Joe tampering; especially when it comes to the tongue-in-cheek songs like White Trash with lyrics like, "Feed the children, feed the whales, feed the children the whales, I'm saving up for a big screen TV!". There are two versions of the country tainted rattlesnake track - You Lie; with the bonus track cornfed mix version including a harmonica solo by blues jester "Jelly Roll" Johnson.
Just as Motley Crue created a new level to their music on New Tattoo without ever losing their edge, so have Skid Row released another sick sytematic eulogy. All of this stems from their psycho love/hate piecemeal relationship over the years; having lived as a chain smoking gang and climbing the charts; then suddenly sinking in the beurocratic bullshit quicksand, just as they were on top of their game. They were the very first metal band to ever debut as #1 on the American Billboard Magazine, even before Metallica. In my honest opinion, Skid Row will always be metal, and I really dig this CD; hopefully I'll see them live very soon, when (who knows)? God, I can't wait to hear Johnny dangerously toy with the classics!