SKID ROW – The Gang’s All Here (2022) *0dayrox premiere*
Titled ”The Gang’s All Here”, the upcoming album from the iconic ’80s hard rock band SKID ROW is the long-awaited follow-up to 2006’s Revolutions Per Minute, scheduled to be released next October 14, 2022.
”The Gang’s All Here” marks the debut of new singer, former H.E.A.T Erik Grönwall (one of the best frontmen of this or any hard rock era), and with the sharp production by Grammy Award winning Nick Raskulinecz, Skid Row are ablaze. They are re-energized, delivering their best songwriting since the early Nineties, with that classic feel yet kicking their sound way up to modern hard rock royalty.
After the first listen of ”The Gang’s All Here” we can say with confidence that Skid Row… are back! Back to the big riffs, catchy choruses, huge vocals and melodies galore. This 10-tracker is a KILLER.
The story of Skid Row getting one of the greatest singers currently in rock worth to mention. The story of Grönwall’s career and how it came full circle with him joining this band, it’s the sort of story that seems like it was written for a movie.
While working at a karaoke bar Erik entered the Swedish Idol competition by covering “18 & Life” and eventually won that competition. He recorded a solo album before being chosen as the new singer of Swedish melodic rock legends H.E.A.T.
Over the course of a decade that band would achieve greater musical heights and wider recognition, Erik recorded four studio albums with them before leaving, after finding out he had leukemia. He successfully battled the disease and it strengthened his resolve towards life.
Earlier this year he collaborated with his fellow H.E.A.T bandmate and released an album under the band name New Horizon.
It wasn’t long after that that Erik was asked by Skid Row’s bassist Rachel Bolan to record some vocals for a new Skid Row song – which ended up being the title track of this album. The band was impressed by Erik and eventually asked him if he wanted to join the band, performing with him for the first time earlier this year in Las Vegas when Skid Row opened for Scorpions.
Just imagine for a second that you have the opportunity to sing for one of your favorite bands, you’d be crazy not to take it, right?
Here he is fronting a band that he started his career covering a song by, that’s a full circle moment. He’s a fan like you, and he’s up there singing his guts out and clearly having the time of his life.
You can really feel the excitement and passion this band is playing with currently, and it shows on ”The Gang’s All Here” in spades. This is the sound fans love from this band, and Skid Row 2022 is sounding the best they have since ‘Slave to the Grind’.
Opener “Hell Or High Water” is the most classic Skid Row track on the record, perfect intro, peak, and staple guitar madness you come to expect from old-school Skid fans. Erik soars here and the guys all take you back to the ’80s with this burner of a tune. Killer.
The title track begins with a great bass intro courtesy of Bolan, this song to me is a good fusion of early Skid Row and where they’re going sonically in the present. A monster groovy track as the twin guitars have some keen moments, the punkish-inspired choruses let loose and Erik just keeps doing what he does so well.
The assault continues with “Not Dead Yet” which starts off with an almost early Guns N’ Roses riff, then drops a razor riff and a hot guitar work by Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill. –0dayrox-
“Time Bomb” goes for a slightly slowed down tempo with some awesome bass lines and drumming that Erik vocally glides over, this song grooves and positively slams despite not being as big on shredding as the first three songs are, the smooth guitar solo is a thing of beauty, the combination of technique, attitude, and melody in it is incredible.
The sharp guitars in “Resurrected” come flying at you with what harkens back to the early days of Skid Row. The rhythm here is very noticeable, and the chorus is a strong one, the same goes for Rob Hammersmith’s patented Skid drumming. This tune has guitars screaming all over.
Then “Nowhere fast” starts out with a riff that reminds me of the heavier side of Subhuman Race. The incendiary playing here hits hard but is injected with a great deal of melody in the chorus and Erik’s vocals really help drive that melody. A blistering solo cuts through the biting riffs, this song should be played as loud as possible.
“The Lights Come On” treads a similar musical terrain as the title track, a good grooving track with a great bass line and guitars, This song will get you moving.
“Tear It Down” has attitude blazing all over, with a top-notch chorus and top heavy riffage, another song that stands out with slick appeal. It punches, it grooves, it’s got great riffs, and it’s definitely a very anthemic track. This is both classic Skid Row and yet very fresh sounding, with a lot of gang vocals.
“October’s song” is the most different sounding track on this album, it has a fast clean melody being played while the beautiful bass line here just sways, these melodies just dance with each other and it’s captivating, the drums perfectly setting the pace. Erik does melodic vocals insanely well and I think he really gets to flex here, this doesn’t sound like any Skid Row track I’ve ever heard but it’s haunting. The chorus goes for a heavier mid tempo pace with soaring vocals on top of it, the guitars in this song are positively fascinating to analyze with all the twists and turns they make. This is in my view the most forward thinking song on the album.
“World on fire” ends the new CD with an energetic riff that would’ve fit well on either of their first two albums, it starts with a guitar line that slightly reminds me of their song “Forever” before going way heavier, aggressive and kick ass.
”The Gang’s All Here” simply kills. It’s everything I hoped it would be as a fan of both Skid Row and Erik Grönwall, it pulls no punches and doesn’t cease to be impressive. Musically, it’s brilliant hard rock.
The track list has everything fans love about the early records with the exception of the fact that it has no ballads, which was really a smart decision I think. Because as much as we love “In a Darkened Room” or “Wasted Time” these guys really needed to come out swinging with this one, and they hit it out of the park.
The playing is jaw dropping and so is Erik’s singing all over. Skid Row are back with a vengeance and this is an album that every hard rock fan needs to own, definitely a strong contender for album of the year.
(Contributors get it today)
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
01 – Hell Or High Water
02 – The Gang’s All Here
03 – Not Dead Yet
04 – Time Bomb
05 – Resurrected
06 – Nowhere Fast
07 – The Lights Come On
08 – Tear It Down
09 – October’s Song
10 – World’s On Fire
Erik Grönwall – Vocals
Snake Sabo – Guitars
Scotti Hill – Guitars
Rachel Bolan – Bass
Rob Hammersmith – Drums