SKID ROW should probably hang it up.
I could easily leave the review at that, but I suppose a bit of an explanation is in order. First, the above comment is something I never thought I’d say, and it pains me to have to say it. I’ve been an avid SKID ROW fan for many years. The older albums with Sebastian Bach are all excellent, and “Thickskin”, the band’s first album with vocalist Johnny Solinger, was solid, if unspectacular. As a live band, SKID ROW certainly still holds its own, but one listen to the band’s newest studio release, “Revolutions Per Minute”, reveals a band desperately grasping towards some point of relevancy, but coming up with a big handful of pretty much nothing.
I read somewhere recently (probably Blabbermouth), where one of the band members said that everything they recorded and liked ended up on the album. After hearing the mix and match, hodge podge of stuff that is “Revolutions Per Minute”, I can say that that wasn’t a very good idea. There is nothing on the album that sounds like the SKID ROW of old. There are, however, moments that sound like uninspired rejects from the band’s last album, and a few big head scratchers/WTF moments. When the DROPKICK MURPHEYS/FLOGGING MOLLY-inspired “When God Can’t Wait”, or the goofy, country-wannabe “You Lied” come through your speakers, try not to shake your head in disbelief. Neither are terrible songs, but neither should ever be on a SKID ROW album.
Some of the material on “Revolutions Per Minute” does fall into the pretty decent category. “Disease”, “Love Is Dead”, “Strength” and “Let It Ride” are pretty good rockers. But the general Punkish feel of the album seems forced. SKID ROW has always had a Punk influence, one listen to the classic “Slave To The Grind” album proves this, but it’s somehow different now. At least the production is strong, and Solinger is a very good vocalist (not Bach good, but that’s hard to attain).
Maybe the guys in SKID ROW just don’t care what their releases sound like anymore, but it’s a sad day when a band I like releases something so unworthy of its heritage that my only suggestion for saving face is calling it quits. I was hoping SKID ROW would release a worthwhile album, and give Sebastian Bach something to strive to top (if his solo album ever comes out). As it stands, Bach looks like the smart one for disassociating himself from the band. “Revolutions Per Minute” is an album I was really looking forward to, and while not completely unlistenable, it is unfortunately a big disappointment.
(Online December 8, 2006)