Many fans and critics would have been surprised by the change in direction from Skid Row the second time around. The music is noticeably heavier.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Skid Row
ALBUM: Slave To The Grind
SERIAL: 7 82278-2
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Sebastian Bach – vocals * Dave Sabo – guitars * Scotti Hill – guitars * Rachel Bolan – bass * Rob Affuso – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Monkey Business * 02 Slave To The Grind * 03 The Threat * 04 Quicksand Jesus * 05 Psycho Love * 06 Beggars Day * 07 Get The Fuck Out * 08 Livin’ On A Chain Gang * 09 Creepshow * 10 In A Darkened Room * 11 Riot Act * 12 Mudkicker * 13 Wasted Time
WEBLINKS: Site Link
1989 and 1990 was a busy period for Skid Row, with a touring schedule supporting their 1989 debut album, while out on the road. They were either headliners or openers for heavyweights Bon Jovi on their ‘New Jersey’ tour and Aerosmith on their ‘Pump’ tour. It wasn’t until Autumn 1990 that the band reconvened in Florida to start work on their second record ‘Slave To The Grind’.
Many fans and critics would have been surprised by the change in direction from Skid Row the second time around. The music is noticeably heavier, the lyrics less throwaway and more serious. The fact that it was the first heavy metal album to make no. 1 during the Billboard reporting era proved to be a significant achievement, and a milestone for the HM genre.
It’s a tough as nails entrance led by ‘Monkey Business’. The lyrics and vocals are Anthrax like, right down to the metal rap thing going on. The boys absolutely mean business from the get-go. The title track ‘Slave To The Grind’ chugs away mercilessly, the guitar work sounds like the accelerated mid section of Night Ranger‘s track of the same name from ‘Dawn Patrol’.
Hill and Sabo are delivering six string mayhem on ‘The Threat’ which could be a heavied up version of Motley Crue circa ‘Dr Feelgood’. ‘Quicksand Jesus’ eases up as the first ballad that we encounter along the way, Sebastian Bach is in fine form. Bach leads from the front with ‘Psycho Love’. An aggressive rocker with a mild change-up mid section before the solo launches this one into outer space.
‘Beggars Day’ has similarities to Canadians Saints And Sinners, the tempo is up on this one. ‘Get The Fuck Out’ is as crass as a Steel Panther. ‘Livin’ On A Chain Gang’ could very well be a tale of misspent youth in the modern day despite it being written in 1991. Some things never change
‘Creepshow’ is metal with a slightly groovy vibe, not unlike Extreme. ‘In A Darkened Room’ shifts into slow mode, Skid Row prove you don’t need to drive the vehicle at 150km all the time. The metronome is given a boost on ‘Riot Act’, a good live number I bet.
‘Mudkicker’ is (excuse the pun) a sludgy tough rocker that displays more attitude than a rough n reader UFC fighter. The album finishes up with the mostly acoustic ballad ‘Wasted Time’, though it does lift in the middle with a soaring guitar solo. Good finale.
Skid Row would tour right through until the 1992 summer, culminating in a headlining performance at the UK Monsters Of Rock at Castle Donnington. At the conclusion of their touring it was clear that the rock music landscape had changed for the worse as grunge and industrial metal took over the rock crown.
For several years this nonsense went on, though as history would show it didn’t last for very long. The band returned three years later in 1995 with ‘Subhuman Race’, another sterling effort from the Jersey Boys, but soon after, Bach and Affuso would leave the band, and that would be the end of chapter 1 of the Skid Row story, which thankfully continues on today.
Slave To The Grind