By Greg Maki
Bolstered by powerhouse new frontman Erik Grönwall, Skid Row suddenly is relevant again, and that just might be one of 2022’s biggest stories in hard rock. With the young Swedish singer leading the way—he’s the rest of the band’s junior by about a quarter century—Skid Row truly sounds like the chart-topping sensation it was early in its career for the first time since parting ways with Sebastian Bach in the mid-1990s.
“The Gang’s All Here,” which is only the band’s sixth full-length and first since 2006, is a flat-out great hard rock record. It’s the sound of a group that’s hungry and energetic, that would still sound believable playing “Youth Gone Wild,” not one that formed 36 years ago. Imagine if “Slave to the Grind” hadn’t taken such a dark turn following the five-times-platinum, self-titled debut album (1989) and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how this new one sounds.
Grönwall, formerly of the Swedish band H.E.A.T., rightfully is getting a lot of attention—he gives a star-making performance that’s every bit as dynamic as Bach in his prime—but guitarist Dave “The Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill bring their A-games, as well, cranking out crunchy, sleazy riffs and screaming solos. Throw in crystal clear modern production (courtesy of Nick Raskulinecz) and—removing as much sentimentality as I can—“The Gang’s All Here” might be my second favorite Skid Row album, trailing only “Slave to the Grind.”
Highlights include the title track, “Resurrected,” “Nowhere Fast” and “Tear It Down.”
earMusic – October 14, 2022