Rating:
8.8
Skid Row - Slave To The Grind
11 June 1991


01. Monkey Business
02. Slave To The Grind
03. The Threat
04. Quicksand Jesus
05. Psycho Love
06. Get The Fuck Out
07. Livin' On A Chain Gang
08. Creepshow
09. In A Darkened Room
10. Riot Act
11. Mud Kicker
12. Wasted Time


After a truly solid debut from Skid Row, one would ask, how could we expect them to top this? Yet they did.

All aspects of the band have stepped up a notch in this album, becoming more intense; less rock and more metal! The entire atmosphere is made more dynamic from the get-go. The intro to the opening track "Monkey Business" has a quiet bluesy riff with quiet vocals that give the impression that the album ahead is going to be weak - but out of nowhere Bach unleashes a scream that breaks into a full-on hard rock anthem, setting off the intensity that barely lets down for the next 45 minutes. Just as soon as you catch your breath after the intro track, a very thrashy title track kicks in with just as much blistering intensity.

Every member of the band seemed to have cranked the volume up (and skill level). Bach is able to hit unholy pitches on his screams that have yet to been matched to this day, meanwhile Rachel Bolan's bass becomes a lot more promenant this time around, which is what gives this album that extra heaviness. The guitars, unlike most bands, seem to be following the bass instead of the convential method of having the bass underneath the mix, this is most notable in songs like "Psycho Love," "Get The Fuck Out," and "Slave To The Grind."

But alas you'll notice that I didnt rate this a 10, and there are a few reasons. The first problem being the ballad "Quicksand Jesus" is another one of those pointless nowhere ballads that is not only lacking in any powerful feeling like the rest of the album but they place it right after one of those blisteringly intense tracks I've been speaking so highly of, it becomes a bit of a bringdown. The second problem is that the "Rock Anthem" template of a song gets somewhat tired by the end of the album if you're not in the right mood.

This is easily the best album in the entire Skid Row discography, putting both anything they had released, and anything that followed to shame; a must have for any hard rock fan.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Skid Row
Album: Slave To The Grind


 


written by Doc Godin | 26.05.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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DrunkenFuck - 01.10.2007 at 13:19  
Amen
iloveskidrow - 06.03.2008 at 01:56  
I love that album!
I love Skid Row!
Paradox0 - 25.10.2008 at 04:41  
This is a surprisingly good album. Everything minus the power ballads (just not my thing really) is great. All of the songs just have great sleazy heavy riffs with the right amount of crunch. This album actually reminded me a bit of Apetite for Destruction, just a bit heavier. A pretty solid album for the most part 8/10
Elio - 25.10.2008 at 14:51  
A bunch of great songs...Quicksand Jesus, Wasted Time, Slave To The Grind...ooooh Gosh! metal:
Mountain King - 12.04.2009 at 03:01  
The review is so wrong about Quicksand Jesus! it is an amazing ballad and In A Darkened Room is one of Skid's best songs!
dismaleuphony - 07.12.2010 at 05:50  
Written by Mountain King on 12.04.2009 at 03:01

The review is so wrong about Quicksand Jesus! it is an amazing ballad and In A Darkened Room is one of Skid's best songs!

I agree with you here that "Quicksand Jesus" is a hell of song. To me it's the ballads, in this and in "Wasted Time," that show just how immense Bach's vocals were at the time. The ballads on Slave To The Grind are so far removed from what was considered typical at the time that it's one of the reasons that this album has stood the test of time for me.

Sure, I'm a biased in that I can still remember buying this disc on the release day, which store, and a dozen other meaningless details (except to me) that spawn all sorts of memories. This was the album for me in '91, and often I forget how thoroughly I know each riff until I listen to it again. "The Threat" and "Psycho Love" are just killer tracks. Great to have a review on this disc, as it was a good read during my listening session today
Aetherius - 28.06.2011 at 12:35  
Really good review! Surfin' around the Metalstorm band profiles tonight and came upon Skid Row's page and this review, its spot on!
Valentin B - 26.05.2012 at 00:00  
This is where Sebastian Bach's voice has shone the brightest and he shows that he is actually one of the best vocalists in the heavy metal genre, and nowhere is this more clearer than on Skid Row's best ballad ever, Quicksand Jesus (which imo is one of their deepest and most meaningful songs too). Definitely top class metal, riffs, drums and especially vocals are absolutely stellar on this release.

"Slave To The Grind" must be the heaviest song to ever become a mainstream hit.

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