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Awful. Absolutely fucking awful is how to describe this one. This ain't the Skid Row we love, this is boring, bland corporate Three-Doors-Down style modern rock, with only a very few exceptions.
The opener, New Generation, sounds like basically what every other glam band tried in the 90s - basically, remember that Motley Crue self-titled album from 1994? Well, that's the closest comparison. Same with, to a lesser extent, the song Mouth of Voodoo, which has a bit of an Aerosmith vibe to it as well.
The rest? Well, there's the one *good* song, "Thick is the Skin", which is a fairly decent groove rocker, sounding like the latest Meliah Rage album - in other words, a watered down Pantera. The chorus is melodic, again a la Meliah Rage, with a bit of that Motley Crue s/t vibe again... not bad.
The song after that, "Hitting the Wall", ain't bad either. Another groover, with some actual fast parts that fucking rawk, which is a refreshing alternative to most of the album, which is plodding and stupid and completely fails to rawk.
The rest... holy fucking shit, Jonny Solinger sounds *exactly* like one of those horrifying modern-rock singers that were so damn popular around 1996-2000 - I forget all of them, but there were a lot, and they sounded all the same. This is basically before pop-punk a la Blink 182 took over; bands like Googoo Dolls and Dishwalla and the rest... and that's what this fucking sounds like.
Ugh. Despicable. A waste of fucking time. They even turned the old ballad, I Remember You, into a modern-rock malaise. Fucken A, this sucks.
This, in my opinion, is an unfortunate step down from Slave to the Grind. (I know Subhuman Race came in between, but I haven't heard that one yet.) First off, Johnny Solinger sounds pretty much just like Sebastian Bach, albeit without the operatic vocal acrobatics Bach was sometimes known for (Solinger has less range I guess, but he still sounds fine to me). The new drummer is quite competent and all, blahblahblah, now on to the music. The bluesy riffing is kept to a minimum, replaced by groovy riffing, often of the start-stop nature that drops out entirely during the verses, then the pre-chorus will be a start-stop groove thingy, and then a full-on rock/metal-type riff during the chorus, which can occasionally be catchy, but it sounds like they're sticking to a formula, because almost every other song on the album follows this pattern (and the other half of them are modern rock-influenced ballads, some of which wouldn't be out of place on albums by the Goo Goo Dolls and their ilk...no lie). The album isn't bad, per se. It has its moments, and some songs (New Generation, Thick is the Skin, Hittin' a Wall) rock quite hard in the vein of Slave to the Grind, especially Hittin' a Wall (great riff), catchy choruses and all. However, even these ones often fall prey to the whole stop-start lack of riffing during verses and whatnot, and the modern rock influence is frighteningly pervasive. Many of the ballad-esque melodic tracks (of which there are quite a few, alarmingly) found me sitting there listening to them, and realizing I wasn't always listening to metal. What a damn shame. Hopefully this is a passing phase.