Released: 2006, SPV
Will Skid Row be nothing without Sebastian Bach (Baz)? Will Sebastian be nothing without Skid Row? These are questions that perhaps infuriate or play on the minds of Skid Row and Baz. If not on them, then it sure does on many fans. It is im-fucking-possible to not compare ANYTHING they do to the two monumental albums SKID ROW (1989) and SLAVE TO THE GRIND (1991).
The main thing people are paying attention to in current Skid Row is undoubtedly vocalist Johnny Solinger. If he was singing in any other hard rock or metal band, he would not be under the microscope as much as he is when filling the snakeskin boots of Baz. Comparisons aside, I have to admit that on REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE Johnny has won me over. By saying that I do not think he’s the same as Baz, but we can’t dwell on the past forever. The band has moved on and this is their second Bach-less release. On their first Bach-lees album, THICKSKIN (2003), I would say that the band failed. That album only showed minor signs of life and was just unmemorable. I dug it out before writing this review and it just doesn’t stand up. With REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE, I do hear hints of the old Skid Row magic in songs like “Disease”, “Another Dick In The System”, “Shut Up Baby, I Love You”, and “Strength”. Those the main ones that really made this album for me.
There is also a clear punk influence in many places (the humorous “White Trash” for example, and even pop-punk on the song “Nothing”). Even with those elements it’s still better then the band’s horrid foray into the country-rock-punk mixed up track “You Lie”. I’ll always be skipping over that one when I listen to the album. Another mixed up song is “When God Can’t Wait”. It’s catchy in a Slade “Run Run Away” kind of vein, especially on the chorus, but it’s out of the style that the band does best. What’s really sorely missing on this album is an ass-kicker METAL song like “Slave to the Grind” or “The Threat”. There are also none of the 80’s radio friendly power ballad moments that made this band’s career with songs like “I Remember You” and “18 & Life”. I could of went for a song as memorable as either of those on here.
Although this is a good album, overall it’s not as metal as it should be. It lacks some of the anger and heaviness of SLAVE TO THE GRIND and it lacks the sleazy metal edge of their brilliant self-titled album. There is however some hope. If the band would only just throw out the mediocre and experimentation, put in 3-4 more metal oriented songs, a heartfelt power ballad or two, this could be a something that will really wake people up. That said, if you wrote the band off after THICKSKIN, give this one a shot and you might have a partial change of mind…at least I did!