Skid Row Thickskin
· Produced By: Michael Wagner

· Running Time: 47.08

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released: US

· Musical Style: Modern Hard Rock

· Links: Skid Row
Songs: 85%
Sound: 90%
Skid Row is another band that is faced with overcoming huge odds to make a successful recording comeback. The scene has changed, the fan base has changed and those still around have been waiting patiently for this album for several years now.
With new singer Johnny Solinger, the band has spent considerable time recording and even re-recording parts of this album.
The band have tried to shop it to labels, and then decided to go it alone, only to shop it to labels once again before finally biting the bullet and releasing the album themselves last week.
Skid Row have updated their sound big time. While this remains a rocky and mostly uptempo album, the overall sound is more in tune with (heavier) Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20, than Slave To The Grind era Skids.
I am not surprised that no label picked up on this. Not because of the quality of the album, but because of the style. No label would find this record easy to market to a new audience with the name Skid Row attached, while other die-hard Skid's fans might find parts of the new sound hard to stomach.
The good news is that amongst the tracks on Thickskin are some true gems. Yes, the style has changed, but the band has written some very good songs, which at least gives them the chance to reach potential purchasers.
But I do fear the worst. I think this album will be a hard sell outside a core audience. Which is a shame really, as those that pass on the album will miss some good songs.
Overall there remains some fillers, but the band should be proud of their ability to remain relevant in 2003. In fact, it's the most modern rock friendly tracks on here that I like the best.
Track By Track:
New Generation opens the album as expected – a big bombastic hard rocker, which immediately sets the tone for the album – darker, more contemporary and of course, that new vocalist! The song features vocal effects and some big riffs, plus a very punk chorus.
Ghost is the first of a few tracks that are almost unrecognizable from the Skids of old. This mid-tempo rocker wouldn't sound out of place on a Matchbox 20 record, with some great vocals and melodies making the track memorable and a definite radio possibility.
Swallow Me is one of the darker tracks on the album, with the guitar sound and vocals both very much influenced by today's modern rock sound – right down to the fairly bare chorus. Not the most easily digestible track. Born A Beggar is a diamond. A real gem of a track. In fact, it's the furthest track from the Skid's of old and my favourite of the album. This uptempo Matchbox 20/Goo Goo Dolls style modern rocker has a great guitar riff and melodic chorus that bursts into a big heavy anthem. Some old fans of the band might have some trouble with the style, but it's a great track.
It was no surprise to see that Thick Is The Skin was previewed by the band as a lead single. It's the most traditional sounding Skid Row track on the album, acting as a bridge between the old and the new. Great track and still the heaviest of the album.
See You Around is another modern rock track that might throw old fans for a loop. Very commercial and quite laid back, this track would sound right at home alongside Nickelback, SR-17 and MB20 on the radio.
Mouth Of Voodoo sees the tempo and the aggression lifting again, but it doesn't match that of the opening track or Thick Is The Skin, plus a weak chorus lets it down a little.
One Light is the album's only proper ballad. It's an mid-tempo modern rock ballad, but nevertheless one that is very commercial and a hell of a long way from 18 And Life.
I Remember You Too is a high energy punk version of the Skid's classic track. This version is nothing like the original, but a bit of fun and comes at a good point in the album.
Lamb keeps things rocking along, with a heavy track that is closer to the band's old style. A good hard rocker. Down is another rocker, but a more contemporary one this time. Not as catchy as earlier numbers, but solid enough.
Hittin' The Wall finishes the album by rocking hard. It's not as heavy as Thick Is The Skin, but still manages to raise a sweat and walks the fine line between the modern and old school sound.
The Bottom Line
A solid album with some definite highlights and one of the few albums that manages to present an updated sound in unison with the band's classic hard rock sound.
Whether fans will accept their updated approach is yet to be decided, but the band have as good a chance as any other band out there doing the same, due to some care in the songwriting department.
Overall this is an album that may leave some fans undecided, with a few tracks that could be considered filler. But the majority rocks and the production quality helps deliver their message in a positive way.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Skid Row
· Slave To The Grind
· Subhuman Race
· Thickskin

Line Up
· Johnny Solinger: Vocals
· Scotti Hill: Guitar
· Dave Sabo: Guitar
· Phil Varone: Drums
· Rachel Bolan: Bass

Essential for fans of:
· Skid Row
· Johnny Solinger
· Nickleback, Goo Goo Dolls
Track Listing
· New Generation
· Ghost*
· Swallow Me
· Born A Beggar*
· Thick Is The Skin
· See You Around*
· Mouth Of Voodoo
· One Light*
· I Remember You Too
· Lamb
· Down
· Hittin' The Wall
--*Best Tracks

18/05/08: viola ramirez -
Rating: 100
I have been listening to skid row since I was 11 years old and I never get tired of them. I was so disapointed when I heard they split up but, be I am glad they got back in the game I missed them. snake is my fave. He is the one that spoke to me the most. And he is hot.

18/12/05: Kim -
Rating: 0
Rob Affusso is the BEST! Yes, I do know him quite well. Very talanted. We love NYC Taxi CAB'S!!

07/08/04: Dave/syxx -
Rating: 0
This shit cracks me up.When are you people gonna learn that this is NOT Skid Row?dont get me wrong i glad to see the remaining skids pull it together and get the band back up but again this is NOT Skid Row their just living off the name i would like to see them retire the skid name and have the nerve to try it under a different name music might be good im not bashing it im just pissed because Skid row was Baz,rob,dave,scotti,and racheal not this new gen bullcrap.I have always been a skid fan but now my moneys on Baz at least he's not calling himself skid row.....
here's my site it does however have the new "Skids" in it

28/07/04: Brandon -
Rating: 90
A great comeback from the band, I can see how it might dissapoint fans of old but I don't get some of the crappy ratings. This is a great album regardless of who recorded it or what singer sang on it. This isn't Slave to the Grind but it can stand alone on it's own. Songs like Ghost and Born a Beggar are true gems off the album. Thick is the Skin could have been on STTG back in the day. And of course the Sebastian issue has come about. Sebastian isn't as good as he once was and Johnny can hit all the notes Baz can. I've heard the man sing live and damn can he ever. These crappy ratings don't do the album justice. I fully agree with this rating given here of 87.

I understand that it may dissapoint but bashing it simply because it doesn't sound like STTG and Baz wasn't on it does NOT do this album justice.

25/06/04: WardyS3 -
Rating: 55
I read all your reviews before listening to Thickskin, and I would probably agree with Shawn Gould moreso. Dissapointing album! I applaud bands for trying new things, but why keep the name Skid Row if you're not going to at least remain faithful to at least some degree to the name? Born a Beggar? Ghost? What the? Agreed there is a large quantity of modern radio wannabe hits here. Occasionally Thickskin harkens back to what we knew and brings a smile, 'Lamb' is indeed pure gold (thanks for pointing that one out Gouldy!) and 'Swallow me' is a little gem, a couple more worthy of the name, but...

Look, I am not into pissing on anyone's opinion. I'm not into the whole 'My band is better than yours' etc. It's irrelavent whether we agree or not, but...

Well, if you are buying Thickskin based on your love of Skid Row be VERY wary! This is NOT the Skid Row we knew. Which is okay I guess, if you're prepared for some modern radio like tunes which don't really hold up against what we are already hearing on radio.

My low rating is based on a little disappointment, a little boredom, and quite a lot of 'Not my thing'. Just my opinion, but if you like many of the current bands you'll probably dig Thickskin. If you're able to look beyond the Skid Row of old and take this for what it is you'll enjoy it.

24/05/04: elizabeth j lapicola -
Rating: 40

17/03/04: jonn 2004 -
Rating: 0
Man!,im just a kid that still love the skidrow it use to be. n even tho i never actully got the thick skin album, but i DO think born a begger and see you around is a class rock, but any one of u still think of the days when skid row is more than just a band. it was an inspiration to all fans remember *youth gone wild, Skid row without sebastian bach is a totally different band, he is more than just a vocal, he was the band. and without it, i never think skid row is good, ever compared to the old SKIDROW.**SLave to the Grind** **skid row***
i will think **Thick skin** is good bt i will never be happy with there new album. i will be always disappointed as sebastian is not in the band no more.
please email me if u view the same way or a different way, i do lik the new skid row, but if u want me to love it like old skid row NEVER not without SEBASTIAN><>><>>>>WORds from the heart ==john.

02/01/04: J. Mark Britton -
Rating: 90
When I first put the cd in, I thought "Oh great, another one of my fav bands have gone modern rock and put out a horrid album. I did not like New Generation at first, thought it was too "Manson" for SR. Once I listened to the entire Cd, and told myself that it's not the Skid Row I was used to, I love the whole disk. The song writing is some of the best I've ever read, each chours on each song is catchy.

If I had to say anything bad about it, it would be that the guitar solos are not Hill/Sabo history makers.

To enjoy the cd, think of it as a new band. Don't look for a repeat of the first cd.

28/11/03: Federico -
Rating: 92
I agree with Andrew, this is a very good cd. I like the update of sound operated by Skid. Usually I don't like this kind of update, but this album sounds damn great. Some songs remind me Nickelback(but Skid row do it better),like Born a Beggar or I see you around. Some others like Thick is the skin or Mouth of voodoo are totally Skids sound. Solinger is a very good singer. Their best album in my opinion still their first, but this new one is very good too.

07/10/03: Rick Johnson -
Rating: 9
Love this album every track is a winner and interesting. By it... hell rip it and let you friends hear how the skids have evolved. Baz is my favorite metal singer... if I can get over his departure then I'm sure with an open mind so can all the other true fans. Born a Beggar, Thick Is The Skin, New Generation, Ghost, Hitting The Wall, Mouth Of Voodoo.... All great tunes and thats my opinion after just 5 listens.. i'm sure i'll like the other tunes just as much. good show old Skids!!

04/10/03: jeramie -
Rating: 85
killer cd not as heavy as past stuff but good to return but not skidrow without Bach but goog it seems that they didnt figure out the direction they wanted to go and had some bach sounding songs and then went back and wrote more to fit soliner there r songs where he trys to sound like bach.but all and all good cd but not skid but i still like it so give it a chance and it will grow on you too.

24/09/03: Geoff -
Rating: 86
Must admit I am very impressed with this CD. Of course I was dissapointed that Sebastain Bach and Rob Affusso (sp?) would not be around this time. But the replacements? Both very good! Though Mr Solinger does bring a more 'common' feel to the Skid Row we all know and love, I do like his voice . . . even if it takes Skid Row in a modern direction some of us would rather not have seen.

But more important than this is whether the songs are still good or not. And by f*ck they are!

I think 'New Generation' is one of the worst opening tracks ever and this one really scared me.
Luckily, to rectify the situation immediately, 'Ghost' comes along in all it's commercial hard rocking glory. It's a new direction for Skid Row, but I like it a lot. Great song.
'Swallow Me' is a cool metal track and by the time 'Born A Beggar' comes along you're starting to see what the band are doing. One metallic track for one commercial track. And for me, that works well! 'Born a beggar' is sensational and one of my faves off the album, along with 'Ghost'.
'Thick Is The Skin' is another metallic track, like the Skid Row of old and is another gem.
'See You Around' is probably the most "un-Skid Row-like" track off the album and i hate to say it, but it's my fave track! I f*cking love this tune and it's just so unexpected! Damn it for being so damn good!
'Mouth Of Voodoo' isn't a fave at all, 'One Light' is a great ballad, also very un-Skid Row like, but a cool tune, 'I Remember You Too' is a cool remake of the original - I like it a lot. The last three tracks all see a return to the 'Slave to the grind' era and it's a great heavy hitting way to finish the album with 'Lamb', 'Down' and 'Hittin' The Wall'.

Overall, I think the album is excellent and easily one of the best recent releases by the bands that were big in the 80's. Without doubt!

22/09/03: Randy -
Rating: 95
This album is great. Everyone needs to stop comparing this album to the ST or Slave To the Grind. This is 2003 you can't go back to 1989. This album would get great reviews if you did not know who it was. LISTEN to the songs and stop thinking about 1989. The cover is bad though.

26/08/03: Jon -
Rating: 60
There are some definite classic moments. Thick is the Skin and New Generation are killer, Down and Lamb are better than average, and some of the newer mellower stuff like Ghost and Born a Beggar are decent (I don't have as high an opinion of Born a Beggar as Andrew, but it's still not bad). A few others songs haven't affected me yet like Swallow Me and Mouth of Voodoo, and I may start to like them, but See You Around and One Light are major filler. I Remember YOu Two is interesting. I guess there are only a couple of bad tracks, but only a couple of Great ones. The rest range from good to average. Still, I love that riff for Thick is the Skin, and the "Hey!, Hey!, Hey!..." I love that!

26/08/03: Dean Caudle -
Rating: 95
I was skeptical about the new Skid Row CD...until I actually listened to it. Now I can't stop listening to it. These guys have grown, but not in a bad way. The songwriting is excellent (Ghost, See You Around) and the music kicks. Skid Row should be proud of this CD because it rocks. This is definitely not your classic Skid Row, but give it a chance.

26/08/03: ? -
Rating: 90
Pretty good. Not as good as classic SR, but still alot better than alot of other 80's band attempts. Singing Is very good and he carries it well. I saw them live with Johnny and he did a good job with the older songs. If your looking for Bach's powerful vocals though, Johnny can't quite get there. Then again he looks a foot shorter to me and I think size has something to do with it. I would recomend this CD because it reminds me of the first one a softer but catchy SR. More pop with ballad sound with a few heavier rock songs. Buy it if you like SR and if you're not expecting Slave to the Grind. The only problem with it is that the heavier songs aren't that catchy.

25/08/03: Hanuk Baac - Temporarily Unavailable
Rating: 60
Give me a break people, do you really think this album deserves more score than the new Shakra and Mark Spiro? Though Snake and Co. claim that they turned down many offers to have a total control of the band it seems like the truth is, labels didn't want to give a shot to another "once a legendary hard rock band" trying to play trendy modern rock. Maybe Thickskin is better than 95% of music played on radio and MTV nowaday, but is it satisfying for a band who once released classics like Youth Gone Wild and Monkey Business? I don't think so. The first 4 songs sound almost exactly like Matchbox 20 while some of the rest tracks are like fillers. Please sound like Skid Row next time and it will guarantee you a decent world wide record deal.

25/08/03: Matt Stone -
Rating: 100
This year has been a dissapointing one for me. Only one truely great album so far. Anthrax's "We've Come For You All" blasted my speakers for weeks before I was even able to listen to another CD. I thought for sure it was the album of the year. In fact, I didn't even think the new Skid Row had potential to be an album of the year candidate. Man was I wrong! Simply put, in the 12 or 13 years I have been listening to hard rock music no album has ever hit me harder the first time I heard it than this one. Yes, the first time you hear Ghost, Swallow Me, and Born A Beggar is quite shocking. You have to check twice to see that you are really listening to Skid Row. But you are undeniably hooked. Why does it work? Skid Row has the balls to try something new while not abandoning what has worked. No other band has ever quite achieved this sort of synthesis. Not bad considering they hadn't released an album in 8 years. Solinger steps into the lead vocal spot and knocks Bach right out of your memory. Solinger displays a wide range of vocals, equaling perhaps Harry Hess' dynamic range. The album has at least 4 or 5 instant classics that could, if not for the Skid Row name, blow up the radio. The classic sounding rockers like New Generation, Lamb, and Hittin' A Wall will all be monsterous live hits. Overall, this album is nothing short of a masterpiece. It may alienate a few hardcore "old" Skidz fans who refuse to let the band grow up, and it may not convert many new fans who won't understand the heavier side of the band, but for the rest of us this will forever be our anthem album. Thank you guys creating such a special piece of music!

24/08/03: Carl -
Rating: 9
This is the record Ive been waiting for. Not many "80s" bands can pull off a more modern sound and yet keep their own trademark sound at the same time. The Skids do it on "THICKSKIN" and do it well! Im sure that not everyone will embrace this disc as I have, but those that dont are missing out on a great musical adventure. In waiting for this to come out, I wondered how well Johnny would do. He didnt let me down. The guy has got the pipes to sing more modern tunes as well as the hard as nails songs too. Dont cheat yourself by not adding it to your collection. Possibly my "Album Of The Year"

24/08/03: rafi -
Rating: 95
I love it!
the new singer is great.
some of the songs like "ghost" "swallow me" "Born a bagger"and "down from the underground" are new style for skid row fans as me.
i like all the songs, some of them more and some less.
"hittin the wall" sound like "breakin the law" of judas priest.
"see you around" is a clasic one! it must to be a big hit and withe "mouth of voodoo " and "lamb" they are my fevorite skid row songs.

22/08/03: Jason Muzzell -
Rating: 75
Overall good album, but...too little, too late.

22/08/03: MID -
Rating: 100
I bought this CD the day it came out. I love this CD! I cant stop listening to it.....there is not one single bad note...each tune is awesome! The long wait is worth it! The guitar sounds of Snake and Scotti Hill just blow me away. So heavy and so full! Johnny Solinger is as good as Sebastian....what makes him even better than bach is...he sings and lets Snake and Rachel Bolan do the song writing. This is a classic cd and full of great tunes.....even though they may have tried a few different things with some more commercial tunes here and there, there is still all the heaviness you expect from the Skids! Get this CD! Put your Godsmack away...put your Limp Bizcut in the toilet where it belongs....use your Stinkin Park CD as a this one!!

22/08/03: freddy de keyzer -
Rating: 40
This is so disappointing !!! This Skid Row has nothing to do with the real one. What we get here is a nu-metal/modern record, not the class hardrock we used to get. Not my cup of tea at all !

22/08/03: Shawn Gould -
Rating: 30
Skid Row
Skid Row Records

Let me say right up front that this is one of the hardest reviews I have ever had to write. Skid Row is a band that affected me greatly a dozen years ago. I loved the bands debut and thought that they smoked GUNS ‘N ROSES on every level. Then, just as every other band was getting softer SKID ROW defied all logic by releasing the monster album SLAVE TO THE GRIND. An album that was head and shoulders above the debut in every aspect. It is still one of my top 5 albums from the decade of the 90’s. After a long absence they came back with another solid effort in 1995’s SUBHUMAN RACE. At that point I felt like the band had the potential to be the next AC/DC, AEROSMITH, or KISS. A band that stood the test of time. Alas it was not meant to be, singer Sebastian Bach split with the band and we didn’t get another album until now. So my dilemma is this, should I review this strictly as a SKID ROW album, or score it as basically a new band with a familiar name? Either way the album is just not very good, but in the end I had to review it as a Skid Row album. I will explain my reasoning for that later.

Let me cover the good points about this CD first, because that will not take very long. First I have to give the band credit for replacing Bach with a different kind of voice and presence in Johnny Solinger. How many times have we all seen a band say they have scrapped their singer and are going in a different direction only to find them with a new singer who sounds exactly like the last guy. There are a couple of songs here that come close to the vintage sleez metal of the past. I am talking about tunes like “New Generation” “Thick Is My Skin” and the excellent “Lamb”, the latter is easily the best tune here with a dirty riff, Solinger’s grittiest vocals, and a great drum track from new drummer Phil Varone.

OK that about covers the good parts, now for the bad. While I credit the band for not choosing a Bach clone, picking a guy in Solinger that has a voice made for Modern Rock may not have been the best choice. Then again, after you hear some of these turds you will understand why he was chosen. When track 2 “Ghost” spilled out of my speakers, I was floored. I swear to God I had to check to make sure I had the right disc in. It is a dead knockoff for 3 Doors Down. And that is not the only time I was confused. “Swallow Me”, “Born A Beggar”, “One Light” and “Down” could have easily come right out of the mouths of any one of the myriad of clone bands that crowds our airwaves every minute of every day. Those are not the worst thing to happen to this CD though; I save that distinction for the song “See You Around”. Man is this pure balladic torture as they spew forth one of the sappiest Nickelback sounding choruses, and I just felt my respect for the band draining out of me. I am sure that radio stations all across this country will be slobbering on themselves to get it into rotation. Don’t even get me started on the decision to update the classic “I Remember You”. Has that trick ever worked for any band throughout history?

OK I said I would explain why I had to review this as a straight up Skid Row album. The reason is because I figure they have to play these songs in concert, and what crowd is going to let them get away with just doing the new material without bringing out the older stuff like “Youth Gone Wild”, “Eighteen & Life”, “Monkey Business” and “Slave To the Grind”. Quite frankly, I don’t believe Solinger can pull it off, and the new stuff is going to sound so weak next to the classics. If this is a band that wanted so badly to be a Modern Rock staple, they should have considered a name change. I would rather have had the name of Skid Row ride off into the sunset secure in their legacy with three great albums. Instead by sticking with the name they are setting themselves up for a barrage of bad press from true metal fans like me.

This is truly a sad day for me, another of my favorite bands like METALLICA has passed away only to replaced by another corporate clone….R.I.P.

22/08/03: Ron Jeremy -
Rating: 45
I just HATE it when bands like this, bands who can write & play incredible melodic hard rock jump on the current bandwagons & change their sound so much that they become a totally different band. The Skid Row of 2003 is NOTHING like the Skid Row of 80s/90s. Gone are the killer guitar riffs, replaced by generic sounding down tuned faceless run of the mill nu-metal alternative ones. Gone are the geourgeous melodies Skid Row used to encompass. One, due to Johhny Solingers lack of singing prowess & two, the bands tetermination to become more current & less 80s, therefore eschewing the incredible melodic hard rock that made them who they were. No one in 2003 will give Skid Row a chance, no matter how hard they try to be "now" & "current" & by writing this down tuned alterna/grunge music crap, have alienated their old core fans. I love Skid Row. I have all their cds. I have seen them many times live, but Thick is the Skin is NOT Skid Row. The name may be the same, but that's all that is similar. Skid Row....R.I.P

21/08/03: CUTTER -
Rating: 50
I just got through listening to the new SKIDROW lp. THICK IS THE SKIN and i gotta tell ya, i am really dissapointed in it. I have always been a big fan of these guys and i know alot of people to this day write them off has a one hit wonder 80s hair band but i always thought they were more than that. Sebastian Bach was a great singer in my opinion. I think they wrote some of the best music of the 80s and i was really really hoping for a kick ass record that would show the nay sayers just how talented they were. I even saw them with Johnny Sollinger open for KISS back in 2001 and thought he sounded great on their old songs. But on this new lp. while the music is rather good, the vocals are awfull. I know alot of people are saying how great this new lp is but i gotta tell ya how i measure lps when i first get them. I put them on ,crank them up and then leave the room and see if i am moved enuff to have to run back in and not miss the song. And the first thing that jumps out to me in a song is the vocals. And lets face it there are are plenty of great great guitar players/songwriters/ producers but its the singer who leads the band and without great vocals you got nothing. I'm sorry to say that i left the room and only wanted to come back to turn the cd off. It sounded like it could have been any nu -rock band. What i hear on this album is not what i would call very moving and i'm really sorry because i was hoping for sumthing to blow me away.I gotta admit that in the last 5 years or so not much new music has moved me much except for the stuff Jorn Lande is doing, but then again maybe i am expecting too much!!


21/08/03: Hootchietoad -
Rating: 85
I got this CD with no expectations. I was never a huge Skid Row fan, but enjoyed their debut and Slave To The Grind, with Subhuman Race being a waste of time & money for both the band and its listeners. I had never heard Johnny Solinger, but decdided to give this a chance. What a pay off!! Though my first listen brought several current bands to mind (ya' know bland Nickelback/Creed/Mtachbox 20/Goo Goo Dolls sound), as I have listened more, things have come into focus and now enjoy the whole disc. There is a great balance of rockers, mid tempo and slower songs. My fave is Born A Beggar (cathcy as hell), with One Light and the remake of I Remember You being go to tracks as well. Overall, if you're looking for a great CD by an old favorite, pick up Thick Skin, Skid Row have done what most others from their era have failed to do, create a CD 10 years after their heyday that isn't embarrasing.

21/08/03: Mel Wilson -
Rating: 80
Not as polished as the last three studio discs but a real aggresive style with slower pop hoks. Johnny fits in fine. Ghost and Thick Is The Skin are the stand out tracks with the punky I Remember You Too as a typical "lets be funny track". I think the cd rocks!

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