When someone is active in the music industry for 24 years, you have to give them credit. Having staying power is a feat that musicians struggle and fight for every day. So it is with Sebastian Bach, who was the frontman for 80’s hair metal group Skid Row. Back with his fourth full-length solo album, Kicking And Screaming, Bach is back with a collection of hard rock anthems, blistering riffs and solos, and a few rock ballads. But has time slowed down this legend or has it given him more power and fight. Check after the jump for the answer.
Kicking off (hehe) the album is the title track, ‘Kicking and Screaming’. It’s a mid-tempo hard-rock anthem with chunky riffs, thick bass and fun drums. The first thing I thought was that it was kind of generic. However, after listening to the album and thinking back on what I’d heard, it’s not so much generic as it is unashamedly no-frills hard rock. Thinking about it like that, I realize that as much as this might be one of the weaker tracks on the album, it still kicks ass in it’s own right.
The production is what you would expect to hear: solid, consistent, in your face when it needs to be and pulls back at the right moments. There are a few rare occasions when Sebastian seems to strain to hit some of the higher notes, though he does land on them. One of the tracks where the bass gets to jump out (and sound awesome) is ‘Caught In A Dream‘ and in ‘Tunnelvision’ the guitar does a sweet riff that sounds like an homage to Tool’s Vicarious.
The album is incredibly consistent in that it doesn’t try to enter new territories. What you have here is a hard rock album, nothing more, nothing less. This makes it, in a way, very comforting, as there are no unexpected or unwanted surprises. What you’ve got are several hard rocking tracks and a few rock ballads.
Considering the recent loss of his home in New Jersey due to Hurricane Irene, it’s eerily ironic how much more impact these songs have now for Sebastian Bach. Songs such as ‘As Long As I’ve Got The Music‘ and ‘I’m Alive‘ resonate even more deeply and are startlingly poignant.
The Final Word: While Kicking And Screaming might not bring anything new to the table, it’s so honest, direct and familiar that it’s a lot of fun. Having heard the album several times I can say that it doesn’t get old. In fact, it gets more entertaining each playthrough, which might just be the greatest compliment I can give it.
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