GIVE 'EM HELL
It seems like every time Sebastian Bach releases new music, the first thought that comes to my mind is "this dude comes off like a douchebag ALOT in interviews, but he just kicks ass musically." Amazing how that comes back around. Baz is back, and he's been saying some interesting things in recent interviews. Yet, just ignoring that silliness and digging into his latest, GIVE 'EM HELL, he hits the proverbial musical home run. Easily the best release of his solo career and only topped in my eyes by SLAVE TO THE GRIND from his era of Skid Row, GIVE 'EM HELL is a blistering yet surprisingly melodic hard rock/heavy metal release. Not that I'm surprised since I pretty much loved ANGEL DOWN and KICKING AND SCREAMING, but this is still about five steps beyond those releases. Fans of Bach are sure to be VERY well entertained.
What's most surprising about GIVE 'EM HELL is the songwriting strength. Not that Baz has ever been a great songwriter, but he's always found a way to create catchy, memorable songs since leaving Skid Row. I read all the nonsense that he wasn't a writer and couldn't write for years, and yet songs like "By Your Side" from ANGEL DOWN are as good as anything that Skid Row came up with when it comes to ballads. While there's not in the way of softer ballads on GIVE 'EM HELL, "Push Away" has a dark edge to it that's powered by Bach's crazy range as a vocalist.
For the most part though, GIVE 'EM HELL just rocks...hard. First single "Temptation" is just an ass kicking rocker in the vein of "Mudkicker" from the Skid Row years, but with a bit more melody and a lot more of an addictive guitar line in the song. Other songs, like the disc's best track "Taking Back Tomorrow", just sizzle with white heat. This one has a touch more of a modern radio metal feel to it, but it slams just the same. Bach's voice has degraded a touch since the glory days, but he still sounds damn good; especially when compared to so many of his contemporaries from the same era. Hearing him bring the goods on songs like "Disengaged" or the nasty "Dominator", you can't help but know that Sebastian Bach is about as good at making hard rock as he ever has been. Certainly, he's the best he's ever been as a solo artist.
PITRIFF RATING - 97/100 - I know I didn't mention it, but Bach has a world class band on this release as well. Duff McKagan, Bobby Jarzombek, Steve Stevens, John 5 and Devin Bronson all lend their considerable talents to this release, which only makes the sound that much better. For GIVE 'EM HELL though, it's really all about Bach, and he delivers the best of his solo career. A must have for any fan of Bach, Skid Row's past, or the 80s hard rock and hair metal scene.