Skid Row – “United World Rebellion Chapter Two” (UDR/ ADA/Warner)
Last of the stadium shaking hair rockers of the 80s, Skid Row have been enjoying a resurgence over the last few years especially in Europe playing new markets and recapturing old ones like the UK where they are due to embark on their 3rd tour no less in 18 months. Pretty easy to see why really cos Skid Row kicks ass! Decidedly heavier than their hairier peers and with a punk element, Skid Row’s brand of street hard rock n roll is a complete package from deep, heart wrenching power ballads to aggressive rockers guaranteed to get the most hardened headbanger rocking – their recent Hellfest set would attest to that! Still with the core sound of Dave ‘Snake‘ Sabo (guitar), Rachel Bolan (bass) and Scotti Hill (guitar), the band opted this time round to release 3 mini albums which is sensible as it’s less pressure for the band and the fans get a steady stream of music. “..Chapter Two..’ sounds like it was written on the road and sure feels that way with a steaming, hungry feel and ‘live’ production sound that is true to their reputation as a heavy touring band. Gone is the hairspray but Snake Sabo n Scotti Hill are still churning out those classic riffs just like they did back in the late 80s from the deep n soulful ‘Catch Your Fall’ which reminded me of my favorite track ’18 And Life’ to the steam hammer ‘Slave To The Grind’ like rocker of ‘Damnation Army’ where Rachel Bolan’s crunching punk bass lines were distorting my speakers to heaven! Johnny Solinger may not be as high as the Bach, but he brings a manly soulfulness to the material that can only add to their kick ass appeal no better exemplified than in the band’s cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Rats In The Cellar’. When I listen to Skid Row’s music it takes me back to my youth, especially in Sabo n Hill’s pure Americana solos and their tender, coming of age melodies, but make no mistake, this isn’t muzak for burn outs, but music that comes out fighting and with an attitude to do so! 25 years on and still going strong, these guys have heart man, and if you’ve lost some of yours over the years, then Skid Row are here to bring it all back to you.