SKID ROW - Slave to the Grind

Slave to the Grind FORMAT: CD
REALEASE DATE: 10.06.1991
RECORD COMPANY: Atlantic Records
USERS RATING: 32 votes

Top 1991: #12
Skid Row more
Sebastian Bach - voce
Scott Hill - chitara
Dave Sabo - chitara
Rachel Bolan - bas
Rob Affuso - tobe

01. Monkey Business02. Slave to the Grind03. The Threat04. Quicksand Jesus05. Psycho Love06. Living on a Chain Gang07. Creepshow08. In a Darkened Room09. Riot Act10. Mudkicker11. Wasted Time

Maybe you remember, or maybe your big brothers, uncles or aunts or neighbours told you that in 1990, when decadent Western music invaded our local radio waves, Skid Row was on top of this wave, with the unparalleled ballad I Remember You booming in all the radio speakers. All the kids (including myself) had a poster of Sebastian Bach and his band mates on the wall, from the Salut magazine. Around 91-92 TVR started to take videos from the Super Channel and, if you were patient enough, you could once a day catch a Tease Me, Please Me (Scorpions) or a Wasted Time (Skid Row). And, finally, one more thing that bears reminding is that one spring afternoon my heart almost jumped out of my chest when I saw on an improvised stand on a cardboard box that was not part of the usual crowed, somewhere by the metro entrance near the Intercontinental, a Raks tape with the album Slave to the Grind on it.


After a finely groomed and polished debut with producer Michael Wagener (Motley Crue, Dokken, White Lion) after all the rules of the glam metal school, Slave to the Grind abandons the successful recipe in favour of a more personal approach, surprisingly aggressive with the mainstream listener’s ears, and rather glum in the lyrics. The cheerful boys that only had women and booze on their minds and on their lips suddenly grew up and were looking for their own identity in a world they saw more malicious and grumpier. Musically speaking, this means that, without crossing the borders of hard rock, they seriously threaten them with furious explosions of energy that culminate with the title track, with a healthy dose of pure thrash metal. Guitars play different parts most of the times, are heard distinctly and transmit the energy of a live recording. They have the easy-going way of rock'n'roll and the recklessness of thrash metal. But this outburst is harmonious, never giving up hummable choruses or melodic soloes and neither does it deny sensitive moments transposed in three of the most inspired and expressive “ballads” I have ever heard: Quicksand Jesus, In a Darkened Room and especially Wasted Time. 


But everything is just a background, albeit perfect, for Sebastian Bach unstoppable vocal tempest. A true hurricane of passion. His voice moves effortlessly through all the states of mind required by the instruments and amplifies them, from fury and ennui, through revolt and despair to fear and regret, like an emotional volcano always on the verge of erupting but still remaining under control at all times. I’m honestly telling you, this is one of the best vocal performances you will ever hear on a metallic album. It was lucky to meet with an instrumental performance to match, a production and mix that are close to perfection and a large record company to promote the record putting them all together. And it had a bit of time before the grunge wave swept through all the charts and values in the mainstream rock scene. Skid Row have never recovered since, even worse, they sabotaged themselves by firing Bach. Another sad case of a huge potential wasted, making the heritage of Slave to the Grind even more valuable.

Klawz more Nota: 10

Posted at 17:41 |  23 Februarie 2010  | 0 Comments  | 5261 Views

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