Those rowdy Jersey boys are back and heavier than ever. If you’re expecting “Slave to the Grind” to be similar to Skid Row’s 1989 multi-platinum debut, you’re in for a big surprise. If you thought they were loud last time, just wait until you hear them now.

Sebastian, Dave Rachel, Rob and Scotti just had so much energy building up during the time since their last LP that they incorporated it all onto their new record. It’s the kind of energy from songs such as “Big Guns” and “Piece of Me” featured on their debut, multiplied a thousand times. Yet the songs reveal the same feelings expressed last time, only now they’re hidden behind much stronger lyrics.

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So why the big change after the success of their first album? Well, I guess the guys decided it was time to do something new. It certainly is a new direction for Skid Row, very loud, but by no means unbearable. This second album contains a lot of catchy tunes and very likeable songs.

“Monkey Business,” their first single, gave everyone a preview of their intensified new sound. The songs get even louder than that, however. Following “Monkey Business” you’ll hear powerful and explosive tracks such as “The Threat,” “Creepshow,” Mudkicker” and the title track “Slave to the Grind.” To slow down the pace a little bit, three much softer songs “Quicksand Jesus,” “In a Darkened Room,” and “Wasted Time” are added to the line-up. They are great.

If you only liked Skid Row for their songs like “I Remember You” last time, then you may not like this album as much, but true Skid Row fans will enjoy it. Once again those hot guys from Skid Row have made another excellent album and I hope there are many more to come after this one! n