This album isnít something for people to relax to. This stuff doesnít put you to sleep at night. Skid Rowís Slave to the Grind
is mosh-pit material to the bone. It may not be Metallica, but it sure is heavy, with a few exceptions of a poorly done slower song and two not-so-poorly done ones. Now, if youíre looking for something to play while running and gunning on Xbox Live, then this is your answer. The album captures that ďdonít mess with me" approach extremely well. Heck, even the song titles ensure that sensation of anger.
This may sound odd to some, but I think that STTG
tells a story, since each song is sung in first person. It just occurred to me when I was listening to the album that each song just somehow sounds incorporated with one another, somewhat like The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails.
Now, onto the track-by-track!
When I first heard this song, the first thing that went through my head was ďWhat is THIS?" Iím not a fan of acoustic/clean guitar tracks (but I do enjoy some). But after a while, the clean guitar intro stops and the heaviness kicks in. The very first impression this song leaves is odd with the intro, but once the overdrive starts, youíre headbanging like itís the last track. Wonderful guitar work here, and very good vocals, especially in the chorus.
Slave to the Grind:
This title track starts out very heavy, almost thrash-like with palm-muted guitars. The vocals come in and are echoed, adding a very effective yet unusual creepy effect. The chorus in this Slave to the Grind is somewhat like a punk chorus, with the guitars playing jumping one octave at a time and adding background vocals when Sebastian sings the title. The average bridge in the track leads into the great, Quiet Riot-style guitar solo (short but juicy). The song is a little repetitive but still manages to represent this excellent album very well.
My personal favourite. Starting out with a somewhat complex and catchy riff, this song really represents the albumís mood extremely well (the Ďtough-guyí theme). The Threat is also very guitar-driven, almost drowning out the vocals once theyíre going. What also adds to this song is the incredible guitar solo that could blow the previous solo out of the water. What also makes The Threat really superb is the drumming. Rob makes the most out of the cymbals and the bass drum throughout the track. Also, when the guitar isnít playing too much, the bass is very simple yet effective. The secret behind The Threat though is that everything blends together perfectly, creating an incredible, motivational song.
One of the slower tracks of STTG
. Itís probably the worst on in my opinion. The vocals are very good but the lyrics themselves arenít all that good. Plus, the guitars get repetitive after a while in the verses, playing the same thing after a while. Emotion bursts out in the intense moments, with Sebastian belting out the lyrics against the now-electric guitars. The song does blend well, and the bass is superb, but for some reason, this song just doesnít do it for me. Still a pretty decent song, however.
Now weíre back on track, Skid Row! The song begins with an odd bass intro, and blends in perfectly with the song. The chorus structure is magnificent. Itís mainly the way Sebastian sings the lyrics, but the guitars cooperate with him help reinforce it. Roughly 1:40 into the song, it slows down, with more of the creepy echoes and clean guitar effects. When you think the songís pace has slowed, the great solo explodes out of the blue. The song is then kickiní again. Not as good as The Threat
but much better than Quicksand Jesus
, Psycho Love
is a valuable component of STTG
Get the F**k Out:
This is probably the least enjoyable heavy song. That doesnít mean it isnít enjoyable at all. What really makes this song weak, although it may sound absurd, but Sebastian seems to be afraid to say everyoneís favourite word. The cowbell is the most evident in this track, but doesnít seem to add anything or take anything away. Itís just a cool, unique effect to note. Not quite as good as the rest of the heavy songs on the album, but still better than the slow songs.
Liviní On A Chain Gang:
This song starts off differently than the other songs on the album. Itís just Sebastian singing/screaming against very quiet drumming. Not as heavy and more on the Quiet Riot
-style sound, this song (I think) is about a boy who robs a store because heís poor, while Sebastian is witnessing the news report on TV. Great use of the cymbal in this song. The guitar work is rather weak with the exception of the solo. This song sounds quite experimental but still manages to come out strong.
starts off excellently. Raw, aggressive guitar riff. Sebastian is awesome in this song as well. This song sounds a lot like a mix of Get the F**k Out
and Psycho Love
. The best part of this song is without a doubt the chorus, just like Psycho Love
. Thereís a guitar solo in here as well. Itís really nice, but a little short. Plus, the pre-solo is kind of ick. Creepshow
is a very highly recommended song.
In A Darkened Room:
Another slow song. Itís a catchy song, but the chorus is pretty cheesy as well Ė like Sebastian is trying to sound like a pop-punk singer. The guitar work is excellent in the song however. Complex riffs at just the right volume mix like cheese and pizza. The same canít be said about the drumming though. Itís very bland and repetitive, and just doesnít work for me. Overall, itís beats Quicksand Jesus
by a mile.
Starts out VERY punk-like, with the octave jump again. The song maintains that punk feel throughout its short duration. Thereís not really much to say about this song, other than itís rather repetitive, but the solo is mind-blowing. Also, the chorus is awesome. Thereís a great amount of positive intensity here as well (minding the lyrics). Another good song dished out by SR.
Oh yeah. This
is Skid Row. Heavy, intense guitar, very nice guitar work, and angry, harsh vocals all mixed in perfectly. The song isnít repetitive at all, and one of the nicest songs to cue your jump into the mosh pit. Again, not much to say about this song other than itís AMAZINGÖ but not as good as The Threat. Very highly recommended. Unfortunately, it leads into another slow song.
I wouldnít call this the best way to end a metal album, but the final song is still well done. Itís a slow song, and probably the poppiest of the trio. Sebastian is crazy in this song though. His voice comes out nice and clean, and not harsh and raspy like in the intense songs. The latter half of this song is beautifully done. The guitar work isnít very well done but the drumming is spectacular along with the excellent bass. No doubt the best out of the slow songs.
Thanks for reading the review! It took a long time to do this one (although it probably isnít evident). I really did enjoy this album and I hope you do as well!