Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming (2011, Frontiers Records)
1. “Kicking & Screaming”
2. “My Own Worst Enemy”
4. “Dance On Your Grave”
5. “Caught In A Dream”
6. “As Long As I Got The Music”
7. “I’m Alive”
8. “Dirty Power”
9. “Live The Life”
10. “Dream Forever”
11. “One Good Reason”
12. “Lost In The Light”
Sebastian Bach – Vocals
Nick Sterling – Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
John 5 – Guitar (“Tunnelvision”)
Producer: Bob Marlette
Personally speaking, Kicking & Screaming has been one of the most anticipated albums of 2011. Angel Down was one of my favorite releases from 2007 and it has turned out to be one of those albums that I will still check out every once and awhile. Fans of that album will enjoy Kicking & Screaming as well. This album has a good mix of heavy metal and melodic hard rock. Though it is not as heavy as the last album it does indeed rock hard.
What I’ve always respected about Sebastian is that he doesn’t want to live in the past or get by based on what’s already been done. Whenever he puts out new music, he isn’t trying to make you think it’s 1989. While most of these songs have more melody than any new stuff you’re bound to hear on the radio, they would not sound out of place at all on radio because there’s no retro vibe going on here. It’s all modern melodic rock/metal and “Caught In A Dream” displays that perfectly and should be a hit on radio.
Anyway, as with Bach’s last effort it seems the more I listen to this album the more I like it. When I first listened to it there were some immediate standouts like “Kicking & Screaming” (fantastic), “As Long As I Got The Music” and “I’m Alive” (a great ballad right up there with Angel Down‘s “By Your Side” and “Falling Into You”). The second time around, I started to get into “Live The Life” and “Wishin'”. On my third listen I was picking up on “Tunnelvision”, “Dream Forever” and “My Own Worst Enemy”. Basically, it’s gotten to the point where I like every song. By the way, if I were to make a ‘best songs’ list for the year, “Kicking & Screaming” would definitely be on it. Great track.
Another trend is Sebastian continues to surround himself with some top notch musicians. Bobby Jarzombek is back again on drums and is just a monster. Underrated drummer, in my opinion. As for Nick Sterling? For some time Bach has been bragging a lot about his new guitarist and guess what? He’s right! Nick does a great job and even plays bass on the album. And let’s not forget about Baz himself — always a great vocalist, a standout in his field and this album is no exception. Bach comes from that rare breed of singers whose vocal abilities just do not wear down over time. Phenomenal.
So. The verdict? Kicking & Screaming is full of heavy melodic songs and zero filler. It’s one of the year’s best offerings and an album I can imagine I’ll be playing for some time to come.
Highlights: “Kicking & Screaming”, “My Own Worst Enemy”, “Tunnelvision”, “Caught In A Dream”, “As Long As I Got The Music”, “I’m Alive”, “Live The Life”, “Dream Forever”, “Wishin'”