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Wham. Glam. Thank you officer - 90%

ReverseTracheotomy, December 7th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1991, CD, Atlantic Records (Censored version)

Released in 1991 Skid Row's 'Slave to the Grind' was a heavier more musically mature approach to their original glam metal sound. This record could be considered much more extreme than their first, as it lacks some more pop-like elements, which gave way to an overall heavier sound. The album delivers a diverse selection of songs, ranging from heavy, groovy tracks, to epic ballads and fast paced almost thrash metal songs. While the sounds do vary between the tracks, they all maintain what is clearly the Skid Row sound. This is most certainly a record you could listen to again and again. Many of the songs are simple and easy to latch onto and comprehend on the first listen, and they are all incredibly catchy. Not to mention Sebastian freaking Bach.

The overall structure of the songs and music is simple in nature, but very well written. There is good cohesion between the songs and the tracks flow well together. The members of Skid Row showcased their songwriting abilities much more on this record, featuring tracks where they were individually given moments to shine as well. This can be seen in the prominent bass riffs on Psycho Love, the 12 string acoustic parts on Quicksand Jesus & Wasted Time, and the vocal solo on In a Darkened Room. All these moments are natural and serve the songs well, without just being a chance to show off, or seeming thrown together. The recording quality also took up a step up with this record, featuring even more tight rhythm guitars and drums, giving the album a powerful, in your face sound. The use of 12 string acoustics and vocal harmonies make the choruses and slower, ballad tracks stand out more, while not being jarringly dissimilar from the rest of the album.

While they are certainly not the most well liked band in the genre it is undeniable that Skid Row had a tremendous influence on hard rock and heavy metal. Slave to the Grind heralded a new era of glam metal. It took the genre further in all directions than its predecessors. Heavier, faster, better written, recorded and produced. It will continue to go down as one of the best, classic heavy metal albums of all time. This record is one of unparalleled diversity and brought Skid Row to the prominence they had earned after their hard work.