I try to avoid socio/political discussions on this blog, but I will say that the news has been honking me off lately. All of which reminds me of this song from my youth:
“Hair metal” from the ’80’s and early ’90’s gets a well-deserved bad rap for being stupid, cartoonish, outdated, and frequently misogynistic. But what if I told you that in 1991, a hair-metal band released an album whose songs scathingly critiqued government, corporations, and society; thoughtfully pondered religion; and lamented drug addiction. That prior to this effort, the band had been best known for a schmaltzy power ballad and their pretty-boy lead singer? And that the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts?
Look past the tight leather pants and ridiculously long hair: as I tell my kids, fashions change, and those things were cool at the time. The music might be louder and have more guitars than are currently popular. But the sentiments are still valid: this is some angry, angry stuff. And though it doesn’t surprise me, it still saddens me a bit to realize what Skid Row was angry about back then largely hasn’t changed, so many years later.
Slave to the Grind was Skid Row’s high mark: they produced other works, but never equaled it for intensity, power, or appeal. A few years after Slave’s release, singer Sebastian Bach quit the band, and though he and Skid Row continued separately, I have not followed either. A shame. I had been pleasantly surprised by Slave‘s ambition and craft, had immersed myself in it, and was looking forward to more great things from Skid Row. That was not to be.
And at the last, there’s still the haunting “Wasted Time”….