Saturday, June 6, 2009
Skid Row: the world's best forgotten band
I was lucky enough to discover Skid Row way back in 2001 - I don't remember how, but I assume from one of those amazing Top 20 shows that VH1 used to put together. ("What's My 20?" was one of my favorites and the ultimate best countdown show ever on television was "Top 40 Hair Bands" hosted by Dee Snider - with Poison at #1 and Twisted Sister at #2 - although since it was hosted by Dee Snider, that may have had something to do with it).
There is something so incredible about Sebastian Bach's voice that it gives me chills every time I listen to a song like "In A Darkened Room", "I Remember You" or "Quicksand Jesus". He is honestly one of the best metal vocalists of all time and my personal (albeit biased) favorite. Sebastian was a force of nature - all hair, leather pants, and the skinniest and sexiest 6'4" guy I have ever seen.
There was no moment where Skid Row sold out - no cheesy power ballads (although who am I kidding, that's my favorite genre). The video for "I Remember You" doesn't feature closeups of crying girls, coordinated guitar moves, or white leather pants (Jani Lane, I'm looking at you). Instead the video is the story of a man down on his luck, living on the streets, who reminisces over a photo of his lost love - interspersed is footage of the band playing in a warehouse.
They only released two albums at their peak and a third album after grunge had taken over in 1995 that is largely forgotten. Nothing they did after Sebastian Bach and Rob Affuso (drums) left is worth mentioning, especially not their "punk" version of "I Remember You" - this is just blasphemy.
But - oh my god - those two albums were perfection. Their self-titled 1989 debut is a black sheep in the family of hair band debut discs but by the time the second album rolled around, they would never have even been invited to the family reunion. "Slave To The Grind", from 1991, is a crunching, straight-up metal disc that proves they could do ball-busting metal songs and gorgeous, aching slow songs.
"Slave To The Grind" became the first metal album of the SoundScan era to debut at #1. A pretty cool statistic.
Their best songs of all time: "I Remember You", "Quicksand Jesus", "Monkey Business", "18 And Life", "Wasted Time", "In A Darkened Room", "Youth Gone Wild", "Psycho Love", "Forever" (from 40 Seasons, their greatest hits).
As stated in the Top 40 Hair Bands special, "if there is one band that could reunite and MATTER in 2001, it would be Skid Row because they just have that pompacity." Wow the fact that I can recall that from memory is a testament to just how many times I watched that show.