Over the years, I have clarified my disdain for everything Skid Row has released since Sebastian Bach was fired from the band. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, my unhappiness with the band’s releases was not because I am some Bach loyalist, but rather because I thought the material they have released has been sub-par at best and just not up to the standard of the first three albums. The revolving carousel of singers didn’t help that and the band seems like its spent more time playing at bowling alleys than arenas in later years.
Enter new singer Erik Gronwall…who sounds a lot like Bach. No, he’s not Sebastian Bach and you can tell that at times, but he does have a similarity in sound that is undeniable.
I, along with many others have hoped for years for a reunion of Skid Row and Sebastian, but it’s now obvious that hell will probably freeze over before that happens.
But, I have to say what you get in this new album is undoubtedly, the best work Skid Row has released in the post-Bach era. Besides finally having a singer that compliments the band’s sound, the band has come to its senses and released an album of music that sounds like the Skid Row that we all remember.
Is the album perfect? No. There’s still room for improvement and I think you will see that as the band continues to develop chemistry with Gronwall because he was basically a newly hired gun when the band recorded it. So, the fact that this album sounds this good is a miracle. Credit where credit is due, the kid has some pipes and the band has listened to the producer and created a Skid Row album that’s actually enjoyable to listen to again.
The opening track “Hell Or High Water” is classic sounding Skid Row along with “Resurrected”, Nowhere Fast” and “When The Lights Come On”. Gronwall shows he can handle a Skid Row ballad with “October’s Song” and I have to say he nails it throughout. While he sounds like Bach, for the most part, he lacks a little bit of the grittiness that Sebastian brought.
Overall, this is a surprisingly good album that makes me excited to see what the band will release going forward. However, the band has now entered a new phase and if they lose Gronwall as their singer, like so many others that have come and gone, they should reunite with Bach or call it quits, because for Skid Row, this is as good as it gets and if the band is smart, they will make this work or risk fading into obscurity.