Review by Ian Savage
In the nearly fourteen years since Sebastian Bach got the boot from the Skid Row camp and was replaced by Johnny Solinger, the ‘youth gone wild’ ideology would, to the casual observer, seem to have been diluted to homeopathic levels. Culminating in a slot on the ‘Kiss Kruise’ (as the name suggests, a week on the waves at astronomical prices in the company of Kiss) in 2011, one could be forgiven for thinking that the band are on a slow slide into the nostalgia market with little new of any merit to offer. It’s up to United World Rebellion to disprove this assumption.
Opener ‘Kings of Demolition’ is a stride in the right direction. Fully in the style of halcyon Skid Row recordings, it boasts a full-fat chorus hook, with Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill’s guitars interplaying like the heavier version G’n’R they often gave flashes of. ‘Let’s Go’ continues in the same vein but with less conviction, and since no Skid Row release would be complete without a power ballad, ‘This Is Killing Me’ steps in mid-way through the EP to provide an acoustic guitar intro, soaring chorus and a minor chord or two. It’s by no means a bad song, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that it’s all been done before.
It rankles slightly to compare a band’s current singer to their previous one, but by retaining the name Skid Row have invited it somewhat. Solinger simply doesn’t have Bach’s range, and by EP closer ‘Stitches’ it’s hard to shake the feeling that the band are playing it safe, a ‘good-enough’ bass riff barely developing though the song and providing a slight anti-climax overall. ‘United World Rebellion’ is definitely a grower, but it doesn’t grow enough. Were it a release from a new band this reviewer would be predicting great things and awarding at least an eight-out-of-ten, but Skid Row have surely had long enough to put together better than this. The adjective ‘competent’ is not a compliment to any musical release, but seems fitting here.
7 out of 10
- Kings of Demolition
- Lets Go
- This Is Killing Me
- Get Up