So the Skids are back (on Megaforce, no less), still sans Sebastian Bach. I’m okay with that, in general, as many bands have replaced their vocalists and still put out kickass records. Of course, Skid Row is not one of those bands. Actually, I haven’t really cared much about a Skid Row new release since buying Slave to the Grind with birthday money back in 1991.
But based on the first tune the band released from their new EP, United World Rebellion: Chapter One, I felt compelled to check it out. For starters, even though it is not a novel concept, I do like the idea of releasing a series of EPs over a shorter time. But make sure the tunes you include are gonna be worth it. There are only five songs here, so even one bum track makes the release feel tainted. And in this case, there are three bum tracks. Let’s take a look.
The EP opens with “Kings of Demolition”, which was the song that prompted me to give this a listen. Definitely a fun heavy rocker. The next tune, “Let’s Go”, keeps the pace going. It’s another up-tempo rocker, worthy of inclusion. I recommend going to Amazon or iTunes or wherever, and buying these two MP3s. Because it just goes downhill from here.
The third track is the obligatory ballad, called “This is Killing Me”. I have a bit of a qualm with this, outside of the fact that it is not a very good song to begin with. In 2013, Skid Row does not need a power ballad. They are not in heavy radio rotation. If MTV still played videos, they would not care about the Skids. There is no one they need a ballad to sell this thing to. So there’s no need to scrape something together to throw in here. It’s not the worst song on the CD, but it does represent them desperately trying to cling to what “I Remember You” and “18 and Life” did for their young career.
The fourth tune is called “Get Up”. This is the worst of the bunch. It’s a kind of very modern sounding rock song. It’s not radio-ready rock, but it sounds like it wants to be. This would easily fit on a late-90s, trying-to-escape-the-hair-metal-moniker release that almost all of the 80s/90s Hollywood bands put out. The final track on the EP is called “Stitches”, and it’s okay. Compared to the previous two tracks, it’s a masterpiece, but on its own, it’s just a mediocre hard rock song.
And for those of you who still care about physical media, the CD packaging is of the flimsy digipak variety. Not a fan. I do like the cover art though. Their logo, however, which is firmly rooted in 1989 Metal Edge mags in my mind, looks a little anachronistic over the very 21st Centry looking cover. Also, I know it’s a riot squad type dude, but the guy really looks like an early 90s version of Snake Eyes to me. Anyway, I like the cover.
But I don’t plan to stick around for Chapter Two.