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Two years after their powerful debut, Skid Row record their second album called Slave to the Grind. Still in shape and more mature than their previous attempt, the band seems to know what they want and how to make new fans. Great guitar riffs and a very steady rhythm section by Bolan and Affuso, that keeps the train on the tracks.
The album begins with Monkey Business. A small acoustic intro and then comes an explosion of pure hard rock. Not a very fast song but it shows that they have got balls of rock. They are here to stay. Going on to higher speeds, the self-titled song makes you start banging your head with its speedy riff and a great solo. Bach proves that he is not just a pretty-face boy but a great singer that gets into the lyrics of the songs. Then, follows The Threat which in my opinion is one of the Top-2 moments of the album along with Riot Act. With this one we get a really catchy piece of rock with lyrics that don’t suck the system but confront it. And once again a great solo work.
Quicksand Jesus is the first of the three ballads in the album. These guys know how to write beautiful ballads, indeed. Not sleazy ones that make you hit the floor but emotional songs that send chills down your spine. You don’t hear the usual “darling I love you, don’t go away, I’ll die without you” but “are we ashamed of our own fate, or play the fool for our own sake”. There’s some difference there, no?
Psycho Love is not as good as the previous ones but still easy to hear, mid-tempo and catchy. It prepares the ground for Get the Fuck Out. The party is on dude!! It is nothing more than a very simple riff that gets you banging and singing. There’s not much to say about the two following songs. Living’ on a Chain Gang and Creep Show are in fact a bit boring but still cannot ruin the whole impression of the album though it is just mediocre.
Another ballad comes up. In a Darkened Room follows the steps of Quicksand Jesus. Pretty good and somehow melancholic, deserves to be in the album. Then…wow, what’s this? Something exploded in the speakers! I never wanted to be President, because it’s nothing but an ego trip, yeah. Fucking good, the best moment of Slave to the Grind, hard rock dynamite, Riot Act blows your head. Sebastian Bach screams and yells and lifts the song even higher. Just turn up the volume and enjoy!! GOD, thank you for this band.
The album is coming to an end, but not just yet. Mud Kicker has a lot to say. Another excellent performance by the Skids and a last kick in the ass that finishes you off before we get to…Wasted Time. This is by far one of the most beautiful ballads I have ever heard. It stands up to the standards of 18 and Life or the magnificent I Remember You. I don’t know how they do it every time. The best way to finish
what they started here.
Summing up, Slave to the Grind is not the best hard rock album ever released and maybe no one will remember it in 10 years. However, it is an album made by five guys who love this music and appreciate the chance they got to play it. Definitely, it is an album that needs to be in everyone’s collection.