Genre: Hard Rock
Label: UDR/ ADA/Warner
Release Date: August 4th
Johnny Solinger (vocals),
Dave ‚Snake‘ Sabo (guitar),
Rachel Bolan (bass),
Scotti Hill (guitar),
Rob Hammersmith (drums)
1. We Are The Damned 4:21
2. Give It The Gun 3:44
3. Catch Your Fall 4:18
4. Damnation Army 3:53
5. Zero Day 4:35
6. Sheer Heart Attack 3:25 (Queen)
7. Rats In The Cellar 4:19 (Aerosmith)
Sounding instantly accessible and reminiscent of Skid Row circa: ‘Slave to the Grind’, the band deliver another mini album containing 5 original tracks and 2 covers as part of their three release ‘United World Rebellion’ programme. Not an unusual approach given the ever changing music scene and fickle approach of people who often focus on single track purchases rather than full albums.
Rachel Bolan states: ‘We wanted to do something different and the idea of releasing three mini albums, appealed to me. Especially with the constantly changing musical climate I liked the idea of a steady flow of new music we decided to release it this way to keep new music coming for our fans.’
‘We are the Damned’ gets the ball rolling with a classic Skid Row bass, guitar and drum led intro. Rachel, Dave, Scotti and Johhny have now worked together since 1999 and that 15 year period shows a band very much in tune with each other and capable of delivering a sound that whilst fresh, relevant and hard hitting will immediately make any Skid Row fan feel at home.
The format continues with ‘Give it the Gun’ and again we are presented with a track that could sit easily on any of those early releases. There’s no denying Johnny’s voice sounds very, very, similar to the band’s former lead singer but the key is that it is a voice filled with attitude and energy and those are without a doubt the two key components that should drive any Skid Row release. Bolan’s punk leanings also give the band that additional edge and the harder elements on these opening two tracks.
‘Catch Your Fall’ gives listeners a classic Skid Row ballad, starting as you might expect with a slow, acoustic guitar led, intro. Solinger’s voice is in fantastic form, hitting those top end notes perfectly and as the song ramps up the energy as moves into power ballad territory, his voice comfortably sits in amongst the pounding beat and guitar licks from his band mates.
Bolan’s bass led intro on ‘Damnation Army’ again shows a punk fuelled, attitude filled track with Solinger howling “Freedom is ours, to bring down the powers, the rise of the Damnation Army”, followed by a Ramones-esque “1,2,3,4” before launching into the next line. The band chant along with the hooks before “they can try to take us down but never take our pride”… sage words from a band that has certainly seen them struggle to attain the level of success of their early albums in recent years and face numerous reunion questions. If this release is anything to go by, the current line up has perfected the style and sound of the band we all grew to love in the late 80’s / early 90’s and should remain exactly as they are.
With ‘Zero Day’ completing the original numbers, there are then 2 covers to finalise the release, a punk tinged cover of ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and Aerosmith’s ‘Rat’s in the Cellar’ with some solid guitar work and excellent soloing mid song.
An excellent release easily as strong as the first and if the third and final release in the United World Rebellion series is as good then the band will have delivered a classic Skid Row album.
REVIEWED BY ADRIAN