Back when I was in year 10, this dude in my art class came to school one day wearing a chain hanging from his ear to his nose ring. I had to laugh. I mean, really, the dude thought he was Rachel Bolan. He did that whole glam / hard rock look but you know how some dudes can just do that shit and others can’t? Yeah, he couldn’t. Skid Row were awesome. He wasn’t. Still, regardless, that first Skid Row album was a real classic record of that era. Even today it still stands the test of time. Every time I hear that scream before the last chorus of I Remember You, I am always amazed at just how good the vocals are on that record. A classic!
Now, fast forward 22 years later and what we have here is one trusty effort. And to still continuously be churning out quality music in this day and age is quite the feat. Why? Cos some days I think being Sebastian Bach must be pretty tiring. I mean, think about it: no doubt every single day since his departure from Skid Row back in 1996, he’s probably had some dickbag ask him “so will you ever reform with Skid Row?” Hell, I know I am sick of reading about it. Nostalgia heads need to understand that Seb ain’t going back so let bygones be bygones and just accept the fact that he’s simply moved on. And his latest solo effort, Kicking & Screaming proves this.
Carrying on from the success of his previous album, Angel Down, (which, if you haven’t heard, is one kickass ball of awesomeness), this ball tearin’ follow up is nothing short of an abundance of heavy rock and is sure to please every fan of the man with the instantly recognisable scream. Or, dare I say it, those who loved everything that was great about Skid Row’s second opus, Slave To The Grind (and really, if you don’t dig that record then your opinion on music is, from here on in, null and void. Hey, I don’t make the rules).
The album heads full force into some groovin’ riffage and it ain’t long til Seb’s wail is heard through the chorus of the album’s title track which is also the first single. Not a bad way to get things going and I can see instantly why people will be drawn to it. Personally, I like different songs on this album for different reasons. The balls-out rockers like My Own Worst Enemy and Dance On Your Grave pack a hell of a punch while the ballads and tender jams like I’m Alive and Wishin’ are equally as powerful and don’t lose any of the album’s momentum. There’s shades of Seb’s entire musical past presented here; from Skid Row to his previous solo efforts. No songs about trains though so fans of the Trailer Park Boys may feel a little unsatisfied. Alas, a great effort nonetheless and I hope this means we’ll see Bach and band head our way for some shows in the new year.