Skid Row – United World Rebellion: Chapter One
2013, Megaforce Records
1. Kings of Demolition
2. Let’s Go
3. This Is Killing Me
4. Get Up
Johnny Solinger – Lead Vocals
Dave “Snake” Sabo – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Scotti Hill – Guitar
Rachel Bolan – Bass, Backing Vocals
Rob Hammersmith – Drums
Producer: Dave “Snake” Sabo
Skid Row is one of the few name hair bands that hasn’t constantly been doing the tour/record/tour thing. Seems like they took a few years off even from touring, for some reason. I was starting to think that maybe there would never any new music from them since their first two albums with Johnny Solinger didn’t receive the highest of praise. I’ve always felt Sebastian Bach’s voice was what truly made the band special anyway. Yeah, they’ve written some great songs but other than Slave to the Grind, I don’t think they’ve ever written an entirely great album.
Still, when I read that Skid Row were going to release some new music (the plan is multiple EPs over the next year and a half or so), I had a good feeling about the album. I think the band is aware that people were not entirely enthusiastic with the previous Solinger albums and I felt they would proceed with that in mind. I actually think the cover for this EP is very striking as well and somehow (even though you shouldn’t judge an album by its cover) it gave me further hope.
Skid Row was always one of the darker and heavier hair bands (they eventually made the complete transfer from hair metal band to heavy metal band) and things are no different on United World Rebellion: Chapter One. This is solid 1980s sounding heavy metal full or anger and pessimism (as if you couldn’t tell by the EP’s title or cover art).
The only song that really doesn’t work for me is the ballad called “This Is Killing Me”. It’s a very simple, no-frills, lifeless ballad. Quite frankly, it sounds like something that Bret Michaels would write and record. The other four tracks are songs that I think fans of Slave to the Grind and Subhuman Race can appreciate. I’ve read comments elsewhere of someone complaining that this EP is trying too hard to sound modern. I don’t get that at all. Sound likes good late ’80s/early ’90s metal to me.
I’m very interested in hearing how the rest of the EPs are going to sound. I actually like this model of recording a lot. I’ve felt for awhile that older artists should mostly stick to releasing EPs and then compile them at a later date as a full album (as Skid Row plans on doing). I think too much time, effort and money goes into recording full albums for these bands who, let’s be honest, aren’t going to sell many albums in the first place. Slowly releasing EPs and then compiling them into an LP is a great way to keep your name out there and cut down on costs. Knock out five or six songs, go make some tour money during the summer, come back and knock out another five or six songs, repeat.
Highlights: “Kings of Demolition”, “Get Up”, “Stitches”