Skid Row Revolutions per Minute

Don’t laugh, really. Skid Row may be unfairly lumped in with useless hair metal bands of decades past, but their track record isn’t bad. And the band’s second — Slave to the Grind — is way heavier than any hipster metalcore band currently wasting your time. Unfortunately, this new disc from Skid Row (their second sans Sebastian Bach, ex-vocalist and motor-mouth extraordinaire) falls short. While things start out kinda rockin’ with opener "Disease,” and there are a few other moments of wonderfully trashy street rock to be found, the band can’t shake this mid-tempo, muddily-produced, too-modern vibe. Even though new guy behind the mic Johnny Solinger isn’t half-bad, it gets hard to keep listening to this after about a song and a half. And the addition of not one, not two, but three fucking full songs where suddenly the band reckon they’re drunk Irish punks or something just grates more than words can convey. It’s been a hard 15 years trying to convince people that Slave to the Grind is a legitimately great release, and lacklustre attempts like this album ain’t helping. (SPV)