|Skid Row Revolutions Per Minute||SPV|
Skid Row have an identity crisis. Their first album without venerable frontman Sebastian Bach was a bit hit and miss. The quality of the songs was there, but the direction was not. Part old school, part modern rock, it made the band appear indecisive as to what they should be doing.|
The guys are now back with album number two featuring frontman Johnny Solinger. It seems they have the same problem with indecisiveness, but this time they also lack the quality of songs, making this album rather a mess.
Making the situation even worse for long time fans is the fact that the band barely acknowledge their traditional sound, this time flip-flopping between modern hard rock and nu-breed inspired 3-chord punk.
Throw in a couple of hillbilly rockers and the Skid Row as we once knew it is perhaps lost forever.
I'm not saying every track on this album is bad – there are a few moments where the song demands attention and the guys certainly rock with passion and attitude.
The opening track Disease is little more than noise to me and the punk fuelled Another Dick In The System doesn't do much more, although the angst levels within the song are intense.
Then there is the frantic hillbilly rock of When God Can't Wait, which is more Green Day goes country than anything I would expect on a Skid Row record.
In fact, it isn't until the grinding hard rock of Shut Up Baby I Love You and the rocked-up cover of The Alarm's Strength that this album really gets my attention.
The punk metal of White Trash has a good groove and a frantic rhythm and then there's You Lie. This is the dorkiest, hokiest "metal" track I have heard since Leppard's classic Stumpus Maximus cover of Please Release Me.
Except this is an all-original number. This is the ultimate hate song wrapped up in an uptempo, feel-good country jamboree. You have to love the sentiment of the song and I love where the band takes it, but how can anyone take it seriously?
But what's worse, there is two versions of the track on the album. The album closes with the same song – some 3 seconds shorter and with no discernable difference between the two. Some bonus track!
Pick of the whole album for me follows hillbilly hour. Nothing is a track that gets closer to the heart of what this band is capable of and is an example of where the whole album should have been going.
Out of the 5 Skid Row studio albums available, if you had to pick only one to listen to, would it ever be anything other than the debut or the essential Slave To The Grind? All in all I gave Thick Skin a solid workout but now the review for this album is done, RPM just got shelved for good. And that's disappoints me greatly.
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