SKID ROW
"Revolutions Per Minute"

(SPV)

01. Disease
02. Another Dick In the System
03. Pulling My Heart Out From Under Me
04. When God Can't Wait
05. Shut Up Baby, I Love You
06. Strength
07. White Trash
08. You Lie
09. Nothing
10. Love Is Dead
11. Let It Ride

RATING: 2/10

When you're on one side of a scale of stupidity, and Sebastian Bach is on the other, and your side is the one that tips, you should probably just change your name and go be a fry cook in Newark or something. The second SKID ROW without Bach behind the mic is another example of an out-to-lunch band trying everything to claw their way back to relevance, and dropping the ball with depressing consistency.

For one thing, who decided SKID ROW should be an R-rated novelty rock band? "You Lie" is a twangy country song about a "lying, cheating whore," while "Another Dick In the System", unfortunately, speaks for itself. "White Trash", with its funny-in-2002 spoken-word redneck jokes, is a career low (not to mention an ill-advised swipe at the last remaining bastion of fans who'll still fill rib joints and Houses of Blues to see this crock-of-shit lineup). Don't like jokes about trailer park dwellers and slutty girlfriends? Marvel as the suddenly-earnest band launches into a hanky-shredding cover of "Strength" (originally by second-rate U2 knockoffs THE ALARM). Not confused enough yet? Wait'll the band tries on their boots 'n braces and turns in a ridiculous SLADE-meets-DROPKICK MURPHYS soccer stomper called "When God Can't Wait".

None of this is vocalist Johnny Solinger's fault — he's a fine singer, and his chameleon-like cover band frontman's ability to adapt to all these styles is a skill worth having (it'll serve him well when someone finally puts this sideshow out of its misery). I doubt he's forcing the remaining core members of SKID ROW at gunpoint to write bullshit throwaway b-sides and pass them off as the logical successors to "Youth Gone Wild", "18 and Life", "Monkey Business" and "Piece of Me". Even the best straight-ahead rock songs on "Revolutions Per Minute", like "Love Is Dead" and "Pulling My Heart Out From Under Me", are watery, weak-kneed and clunky, the band's former kick-down-the-door bravado replaced with a tentative, half-sneering mélange of grunge and bad punk.

I was never the biggest SKID ROW fan, but you can't deny their former ability to write a classic hook. There's a reason they got huge and, say, BATON ROUGE didn't. And they had the balls to get heavier as time went on, and give breaks to bands like PANTERA when they needed them. Somehow, though, they became the lazy, cynical, crass and hopeless bunch that put out this pile of dogshit. They didn't need to crap out a new record just to tour — it's not like 98% of the people who go see them want to hear anything but the hits. The question remains, then — why tarnish what's left of a great rock legacy with lukewarm songs and lame jokes?

If I was Sebastian Bach, I'd rejoin the band just so I could quit again.

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