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Skid Row - The Gang's All Here review


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Band: Skid Row
Album: The Gang's All Here
Release date: October 2022

01. Hell Or High Water
02. The Gang's All Here
03. Not Dead Yet
04. Time Bomb
05. Resurrected
06. Nowhere Fast
07. When The Lights Come On
08. Tear It Down
09. October's Song
10. World's On Fire

Which gang? The Sugarhill Gang? The Ant Hill mob?

We all know the story by now: Skid Row were, for a while, one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, thanks to the combustible mix of riffmaster-in-general Snake Sabo and enigmatic and egomaniacal frontman Sebastian Bach. Said singer left the band and this chemistry was lost to time, leaving both groups to be less than the sum of their parts.

Though I was disappointed that no material from the SkidForce union with Z.P. Theart materialised, the chance to hear the first full-length album by the band in 16 years was an interesting proposition. And so here it is, the debut of the new face behind the microphone, erstwhile H.E.A.T frontman Erik Grönwall, and the culmination of a level of anticipation I've not seen for a Skid Row album in years.

Well, The Gang's All Here is certainly the strongest effort from the band in years (though that isn't exactly a hard feat) and one that reannounces the band's return to the studio with a bang. The combination of Grönwall's presence and some of the best riffs from Sabo makes for a powerful and electrifying mix that has sparks flying.

From the off, the band keeps one foot on the pedal while the other taps away on the floor. Much of the album keeps the tempo and energy high while hitting all the right notes for a hard rock album. The title track, "Resurrected", "When The Light's Come On", and "Not Dead Yet" remind you of the glory days of rock music, with the last tracks perhaps the musical answer to Gene Simmons's assertion that the genre is in its death throes.

While Grönwall and Sabo take the spotlight on the album, they are supported by the rest of the ahem, "gang", with Bolan, Hill, and Hammersmith rounding out the sound in style. Hammersmith's drums in particular are powerful and propel the album with precision strikes while Sabo and Hill hark back to their glory days with some excellent guitar interplay throughout the album.

The biggest shortcoming on The Gang's All Here is that the chorus is often the weak part of the song, leaving you shrugging instead of throwing the horns and singing along at the centrepiece. Take "Resurrected" as an example: a solid riff and performance by the band, but the chorus is perhaps the weakest point of the track, which is a big shortcoming given the band's aim of writing anthemic tracks.

The other issue is the inclusion of tracks "Time Bomb" and "October's Song"; the latter aspires to be a ballad-come-hard-hitting track that long overstays its welcome at seven minutes long, while the former fails to hit the hammer on the head as a track that masters the quiet/loud dynamic. While the band has previously shown it can handle slow and powerful tracks in the past, the inclusion of the tracks on The Gang's All Here feels like force of habit rather than an inspired inclusion.

With The Gang's All Here, one of the contenders for surprise act of the year is likely to be Skid Row. An unexpected reversal of fortunes, the album proves to be a hard-hitting return that is easily their best since their glory years in the late '80s and early '90s.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written on 21.10.2022 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 8   Visited by: 126 users
21.10.2022 - 21:38

Se-bast(ard)ian fuckin Bach. it's got to rock.

oh, he's gone? unholy Toledo!!

...but yet I think it kinda did. decent new vocalist - even if he overuses every opportunity to strangle-mangle the high note Halford-style. only not on that level of vocal control/power/class/presence/<insert just about any achievement noun here>

music was serviceable but fun and at times it really gets a fun retro-buttrock vibe goin that makes the emo-math kids snicker, chuckle n cringe at outdated edge methods (in other words, self-conscious lil soft brats treating embarassment as the true terminus armageddon of our times. pretentious! cringe! your whingeing is too! shaddap n go back to surfing 3-D printed canny-valley stare department store mannequin jackalope cam snuffporn!)

last 3 albums spun
Breath of Sindragosa - The Dying Seeds of Hatred (2022)
Stryper - The FInal Battle (2022)
JJ Allin - Hypomania (2022)
No one can fend off 100 multi-colored Draculas
21.10.2022 - 22:17
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Best album after slave.. But not close first 2 bangers. If snake be 30 years younger, he snd Grönvall would be killer duet.. Equal as Sebbe
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
22.10.2022 - 00:15

I just cannot get over the fact that Grönwall looks like the 'tough guy' from any random boyband.
"The best violence against one is the violence no one ever forgets.."
22.10.2022 - 01:57

Turned out a lot better than I expected

plays to their strengths with no shame n often the best, less-contrived records come from a similar approach as Skid Row chose - shoehorning pandering foreign (to them) and trendy tryhard elements usually ends up comin off as hilariously out-of-touch farce-folly, as we've witnessed many times
No one can fend off 100 multi-colored Draculas
22.10.2022 - 15:24

Will skip(d) this one probably, if i get a skid row itch, slave to the grind will scratch it ...
23.10.2022 - 06:26
Rating: 7
Aries Rising

If they can keep this singer and get a producer who can give them the kick in the pants they still need, we could probably get another album on par with their classics. This one came close though.
26.10.2022 - 19:56
Nocturnal Bro
Is this your 400th review? Congrats!
26.10.2022 - 22:00

Just a shadow what they once used to be.

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