Skid Row: Slave To The Grind(2021 Reissue)

Part 2 of Skid Row: The Atlantic Years (1989-1996)

When you think about it with the amount of touring Skid Row did on the back of the self titled debut it’s amazing that they followed it up with an even better record in the form of “Slave To The Grind”.

Recorded once again with Micheal Wagener at the dials the guys decided to make an even heavier album at times than the debut.

Toss in the stellar production which is massive but is not over polished, almost dry sounding which is another added charm to the listener.

I always liked the artwork on this album. David Bierk (Sebastian Bachs father) drew this cover and its cool that the band used it as I love the colour scheme. This vinyl reissue is a gatefold sleeve along with the albums 12 tracks spread out over two records.

Even the back cover with those song titles are killer. I remember when I got the CD(back in June ’91) the first thing I would look at would be the song titles as I wanted to figure out what was rocking and what the ballads were and to see upon my first listen if I was right.

When you drop the needle this album kicks ass. It’s amazing that its now heading towards year 31 in regards to age.

Nuts is what comes to my mind.

Rachel Bolan and Dave Sabo dug deep as they know they had to deliver a stellar followup and full kudos to them for going the exact opposite way and making a heavier/beefer album than the debut.

Even lyrically they stepped up. Gone were the late 80’s fun tunes like “Big Guns” and “Sweet Little Sister”. Instead you get volcanic heavy rock in the form of the stellar “MudKicker” and “Riot Act”.

“Get The Fuck Out” is really the only tune on here that could have slid onto the debut with its lyrical imagery so to speak.

I have to say the opening three pack of tracks (“Monkey Business”, “Slave To The Grind” and “The Threat”) are a solid way to begin the album. Heavy and to the point!

I don’t want to say ballads because the three somewhat slower like tracks (“Quicksand Jesus”, “In A Darkened Room” and “Wasted Time”) all have deep meanings.

“Quicksand Jesus” deals with the questioning of not only faith but all the other curveballs that life throws your way.

“In A Darkened Room” deals lyrically about child abuse whereas “Wasted Time” tells the tale of drug abuse specifically Heroin.

Bolan and Snake prove not one themselves as songwriters but as great lyricists as well. ( Bach also contributed with a  co write on “In A Darkened Room” and “Wasted Time”).

Some pretty have stuff here folks not only musically but lyrically.

Bolan though should get more respect as a songwriter as more people were fixated on the dudes pierced nose chain than his bass playing and lyrics. Check out “Psycho Love ” written solely by Rachel and I love that driving bass and drums at the beginning of the song.

The fact that the band (along with drummer Rob Affuso and six stringer Scotti Hill) did this all in-house is even more impressive. No outside writers or guest musicians it’s just the five guys doing what they do best and “Slave To The Grind” turns that Grind into platinum on this album.

deKe’s 2022 score of Slave To The Grind: 10/10

Once again I caught Skid Row opening for Guns N Roses at the opening night of Guns Use Your Illusion Tour (May ’91) as Skid Row  got on another mega tour. The only thing was the Skids were playing tracks from “Slave To The Grind” which was still a few weeks away from being released.

Coming up… Skid Row skids into Thunder Bay back in 1992!

18 thoughts on “Skid Row: Slave To The Grind(2021 Reissue)”

  1. Sebastian Bach’s dad drew the album cover? That’s so cool! I’ve only heard “Monkey Business,” but I’m curious to hear the whole album. Gosh, if I had known that Skid Row were putting together a box set with the Sebastian Bach stuff beforehand, I never would’ve bought the debut earlier last year. By the way, I heard there might be a new studio album sometime this year, without Bach, of course. What are your thoughts on that?


  2. Yep nailed it. 10/10 for sure. I don’t think it can be denied they were on fire here. And think about how forward thinking their vision was here. Here they are, late 1990 early 1991, writing out a heavy metal, thrash and punk influenced album way before thrash and 90s punk were on the charts. They went in there uncompromised. There is no way they could have made this album under the watching thumb of JBJ, or if the first album had not been a massive hit. I’d hate to be a record executive with a mortgage when I first heard the record. I am sure I would have soiled myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great album Deke and lyrically it’s excellent as well. As you say Sabo and Bolan stepped it up. The heaviness is still rocking enough and those ballads. Wow

    Those ballads also have some very underrated guitar playing and Bach proves what a powerhouse vocalist he is, especially in Wasted Time and that outro.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I kept seeing Skid Row and I thought it was the same post… I listened to some today and this is NOT who I thought it was…they were pretty hard. I was thinking a commercial hard band… they did rock I will say.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.