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Sebastian Bach & Friends
Sebastian Bach & Friends
December 1999
Released: 1999, Spitfire Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

First off, if you think that Skid Row were a glam/hair metal band, you are very ignorant of what this band was about. Skid Row were a metal band - period. You put a song like "Slave to the Grind" or "Beat Yourself Blind" up against anything by the likes of Winger, Slaughter, Bon Jovi, etc...and guess what? - Skid Row kicks their ass big time. As you probably know, vocalist Sebastian Bach is no longer with the Skids but it was their loss. He'll do just as good, if not better, without them. The proof is to be found on Sebastian's new CD "Bring 'Em Bach Alive" containing five new studio tracks and ten live Skid Row tunes recorded with his new band in Tokyo, Japan.

Concerning the five new tracks on the CD we have CD opener "Rock 'n' Roll" which is kind of a lame title but it's the best new track on the CD and it's the heaviest (check out the headbanging part near the middle!). On guitars on this one is none other than the legendary Wolf Hoffman (ex-Accept)!!! Coming in second is "Done Bleeding" which sounds more like a heavier Skid tune that has a very catchy chorus. "Superjerk, Superstar, Superstars" is the ballad - kinda beatlesque and moody. "Blasphemer" is an upbeat tune a la "Riot Act." The last of the new tracks is "Counterpunch" which is not as interesting as the others but still not bad. Sebastian's voice is is fine shape on the new tracks and the musical direction is (thank the metal gods) METAL! You won't find any hip-hopping or other trendy crap on here...just hard rock / metal. The cover of the CD is a bit minimalist but inside there's a funny comic and the lyrics to the new tunes. The only thing I could do without is Sebastian's aluminum foil clothing on the inside pictures (dude wear some black leather or something and lay off the foil rap haha). As for the live tracks - if someone would of stuck this in front of me with the "Skid Row" moniker on it and said "check it out, a bootleg of Skid Row" I would of believed them! The only place where I noticed some variations was in the lead guitar department. For the most part the leads stick to the theme but it is not done note for note. No surprise, Sebastian's voice is the highlight and he's holding up very well especially on "Slave the the Grind", "In A Darkened Room", "Youth Gone Wild", "18 & Life". Surprise throw in is in the middle of "Monkey Business" with a cover-song called "Godzilla" ("Oh no, there goes Tokyo go go Godzilla!") Fitting for the Japanese audience!

This is just the beginning of what will hopefully be a consistent and METAL career for Sebastian. He has recently signed to a four-album deal with Spitfire Records so we can expect a lot more material. It also appears as if he'll continue to collaborate with Wolf Hoffman which would be a great idea and will probably open even more ears to Sebastian's music. "Turn it louder!"
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