Artist: Skid Row 
   Title: Thick Skin
   Label: SPV Records

As 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 them.

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 recognize immediately.

“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 fans.

“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 word.

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.

Tracklisting:

   1. New Generation
   2. Ghost
   3. Swallow Me (the real you)
   4. Born a Beggar
   5. Thick is the Skin
   6. See you Around
   7. Mouth of Voodoo
   8. One Light
   9. I remember you Two
  10. Lamb
  11. Down from Underground
  12. Hittin’ a Wall
                  

 

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