a big Skid Row fan from the early years as many Skid Row fans alike the
departure of Seb Bach was a major wrench. But like many things in life
these things are meant to be. If we are to go in there it’s no good
dwelling on the past as it only makes us bitter and twisted and so life
must go on. That’s the attitude Snake Sabo, Rachel Bolan and Scotti
Hill had on the decision not to let Skid Row disappear into obscurity
back in 1999, when they decided to reform the band that meant so much to
A friend suggested they check out a Texan by the name of Johnny Solinger.
He was only just half way through the first song at his audition when
the rest of the band knew that he fitted the bill exactly. Combined with
the insertion of new drummer Phil Varone, a new era in the skid row
history was about to be written.
With a highly coveted slot opening up for Kiss back in 2000 and also
touring extensively and shows with both Poison and Vince Neil’s band
in 2003. The fans reacted to Johnny in a positive way and since a new
studio was due from the band and the next chapter of the skid row story
was about to be written.
The album name “Thickskin” with Bolan and Snake still writing the
majority of the songs, this is still a Skid Row album but one with sees
Solinger putting his own mark on the tracks. Opening up with the track
“New generation” this is most certainly noticeable.
The band have matured and have not got stuck in the nostalgia thing by
releasing the same old sound. They have kept up with times and
“Ghost” is a great example of that maturity. “Swallow me” and
“Born a beggar” are more of the same. “Thick is the skin” is
pure Skid Row with its heavy bass lines that fans of the band will
“See you around” slows down the pace but never loses the feel of the
album. This particular track shows a mellower side to Bolan and Snakes
writing. “Mouth of voodoo” is another track with a heavy bass
influence very reminiscence of early Skid Row but again Johnny puts his
stamp on the track to bring it more in line of musical trends of today.
“One light” slows things down again, then there's a blast from the
first Skid Row album with the totally revamped “I remember you” and
retitled “I remember you two” and which sees the song given a more
up tempo beat and harder edge but is still recognizable to die hard
“Lamb” and “Down from underground” are two total different
tracks but show the diversity of Johnny Solingers vocal talent. The
final track “Hittin a Wall” is one of my favorites. If you like me
like your rock with a bit of meat on it then this a track for you. Hard,
fast, and with a catchy chorus, a true rock track in every sense of the
All in all “Thickskin” is a great album and one of the highlights of
2003. But for those Skid Row fans still in morning for Seb Bach, I say
to them get your head out of the sand and go and get this album it will
grow on you.