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POP MUSIC REVIEWS : Shrieker Bach Gives Skid Row Its Punch

June 12, 1995|DENNIS HUNT

It was just about impossible to find anything musically right with Skid Row's show at the Hollywood Palladium on Friday night. So why did this New Jersey metal quintet sound so good at times?

Part of it is that there are so few old-fashioned metal bands around these days that just about any of these dinosaurs sounds good to a die-hard fan. But you really have to be hard up to like Skid Row, which was serving up recycled riffs, routine rhythm-guitar thunder and outdated party-animal swagger.

In the high-rise of creativity, these guys are wallowing in the basement. They appeal to the baser instincts, aiming to raise crudity to an art. If you like that sort of thing, there was plenty to savor in Friday's show, which mostly featured music from the band's last two albums, "Slave to the Grind" and "Subhuman Race"--its first in four years.

The real reason to watch this band is lead singer Sebastian Bach, a savvy shrieker who still acts like the '90s never happened and that metal bands really aren't an endangered species. The secret of a riveting live metal show is for the lead singer to convince you he really is in a league with the devil. Bach, a coarsely macho, motor-mouthed beanpole, does just that. He oozes perversity and gives you the sense that he's working from a master plan designed to send him straight to hell--and loves every second of it.

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