Album review: SKID ROW – The Atlantic Years

BMG [Release date 03.12.21]

American rock band Skid Row, who formed in New Jersey in 1986, found fame in the late 80s and early 90s with their brand of hard rock that included elements of glam and sleaze. Signing to Atlantic, the band were (at least during the Sebastian Bach fronted years) incredibly successful. And this box rounds up the Atlantic years nicely.

In this box we get 5 CDs, each in a digipack.

First out is the 1989 eponymous debut which kicks off with ‘Big Guns’. A solid loud blast, a statement of intent, with both vocals and guitars screaming at full volume. While the album is a little formulaic, it is much meatier and ‘street’ than the West Coast glam/sleaze of the era, which was fluffy by comparison. The cliched ballad ’18 And Life’ was a massive hit; there was something clearly special enough about Skid Row to capture the zeitgeist so much, in the face of grunge. The band here consisted of vocalist Sebastian Bach, guitarists Dave Sabo and Scotti Hill, bassist Rachel Bolan and drummer Rob Affuso.

1991’s follow up Slave To The Grind features more solid production and a harsher sound. A little more maturity to the lyrics, but musically still a little cliched. Some excellent moments, especially with the opening track ‘Monkey Business’, and the title track too (both hit singles). Some nice guitar solos in there. Like the first disc, a nice digipak with a poster insert featuring the album’s lyrics.

1992’s B-Side Ourselves is an EP featuring 5 cover versions. A decent cover of the Ramones’ Pyscho Therapy. Kiss’ C’Mon And Love Me is OK, and the live take on Judas Priest’s Delivering The Goods features guest Rob Halford. The Rush and Jimi Hendrix covers are worth a listen too.

1995’s Subhuman Race is a real mixed bag. Although the band had tried to progress and add some complexity, there are parts that sound disjointed (as it turns out, the band were about to fall apart and felt forced to record the album). Consequently some tracks sound like they’re trying to hard to adapt to the 90s, while also sounding like they never left the 80s. Fresh and updated, and cliched at the same time.

The final disc is the Subhuman Beings On Tour EP, originally released in Japan. Much of the EP was recorded live on the Subhuman Race tour. Again a poster insert with lyrics, in both English and Japanese. Sebastian Bach left after the album’s release and had a much stronger solo career than the band had without him.

This set brings together the Atlantic recordings nicely, it is a good package. But there is a big missed opportunity, as there are no bonus tracks (not even the Japanese release or anniversary edition bonus tracks), and no sleeve notes either. If that doesn’t bother you, then you’ll love this set. ***1/2

Review by Joe Geesin

The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 12 December. The session above was a Halloween Special streamed on 31 October 2021. Josh’s next session is Sunday 30 January 2022.

Check out previous videos here:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 December 2021 and celebrates The Best of 2021 based on the GRTR! reviewer selections and popular poll results.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 26 December 2021 and features show highlights from the year (Part 1).

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages:

Power Plays w/c 10 January (Mon-Fri)
SMOKING MARTHA Wild & Free (Xelon Entertainment)
TRUE NORTH Fix (Out Of Line Music)
COLLECTED Say When (indie)
ABOUT KINGS Heaven On Down The Highway (indie)
WHALEDOG Leave Me Alone (indie)
LED BY LANTERNS Six Feet Down (indie)
KROOKED TONGUE Freaky Love (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 10 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 BITE THE BULLET End Of The Line (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 CRYSTAL BALL Crysteria (Massacre Records)
14:00-16:00 SEAN TAYLOR The Beat Goes On (indie)

Popular (last 30 days)

This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS, Reissues and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply