Hair Metal

Skid Row Slave to the Grind

Like a defeated boss who comes back in any 80s/90s video game, Skid Row came back as Super Skid Row on Slave to the Grind, with new attacks and waaaaaaaay more Hit Points!

The boys from New Jersey go harder, get tougher, and kick more ass on their second studio album, Slave to the Grind. Even the ballads are lavishly dark.

Only, the didn't die. At least not yet.

Skid Row kept the hair. Skid Row kept the metal. But, they started to move on from being Hair Metal on the 1991 album.

Jersey cohorts, Bon Jovi, were consistently looking to go lighter, as evidenced by 1992's Keep the Faith. Not Jovi's Garden State counterparts, Skid Row. Nah, Snake, Rachel, Dave, Sebastian, and Scotti were gathering up their chains and billy clubs for an aural beatdown.

Nowhere is this more apparent than comparing Track 5: Psycho Love to 1988's Forever, an unreleased Skid Row self-titled era song.

Bolan and Sabo gain the lion's share of the writing credits, and thus the hero's portion at the evening Meadhall.

Slave to the Grind song notes

Monkey Business

The song that convinced the Broadway producers of Jekyll & Hyde that Bach could pull off the title role.

Monkey Business! Slippin' on the track! Baz is riding the Nightrain again. Probably with Duff on the Use Your Illusion tour.

Not to be confused with Danger Danger's more jocular, lady-focused Monkey Business, which appeared on their second album, Screw It!.

Slave to the Grind

An album's second track better hit hard. Slave to the Grind punishes. Punching bass, tight guitar riff, compact solo, driving drums, aggressively high vocals, and dominating lyrics.

Skid Row goes three and a half minutes in the rock ring on this one.

Ominous lyrics. Skid Row lead singer Sebastian Bach opines, "I won't be the one left behind", yet, that's exactly what happened when he was fired from the band in 1996.

The Threat

Snake & Scotti open The Threat with microwaved riffage.

The real threat is pissing off Skid Row, cause they're already pretty damn pissed.

Quicksand Jesus

Baz can sing, man.

Psycho Love

Overdriven, machine-gun riffs were made for Sebastian to let loose over. Affuso and Bolan thump, bump, smash, and crash. The Snake Sabo led change of pace at 1:36 is quite unexpected. All hell breaks loose at 2:31.

Get the Fuck Out

Was Get the Fuck Out a tune that got cut from their self-titled debut? Subtle as it may be, well, certainly not the title of the song or its message, there is a difference in tonality from the rest of the second album. More of a rebellious anthem that aligns with early Skid Row/Youth Gone Wild, than the abrasive, take-no-shit middle finger that is Slave to the Grind.

Beggar's Day (clean version)

I ended up with the clean version tape because of BMG. As if I wasn't sneaking into R-rated movies underage. I begged for the explicit and BMG let me down.

All the way to Beggar's Day!

Livin' on a Chain Gang

Hair Metal gang vocals! Annnnnnd we're back. Bach holds notes in all the right places. Scotti Hill lights up electric guitar fire. Livin' on a Chain Gang keeps with the slave motif.


Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) playing on Creepshow?

In a Darkened Room

Hair Balladry in 1991.

Is that a Jane's Addiction t-shirt?!

Riot Act

Punk verse? Hair Metal chorus? Surf solo? Blues solo? Classical solo? Back to surf-blues blend?

Riot Act is all over the sonic map. The second half of Slave to the Grind eases back into the hair metal cockpit.


Bolan's growling bass. Snake and Scotti's harmonized melodies. Affuso pounding away. Two things being kicked on Mudkicker, and mud is the other one.

Wasted Time

Pants might hate me for saying this, but Wasted Time is my favorite track on the entire album. I can't listen to it without hearing Sebastian Bach go through every single emotion in human history. This is how you slow close an album.

More Slave to the Grind Details

Slave to the Grind Info
Release Date June 11th, 1991
Length 48:41
Producer Michael Wagener
Studio New River Studios | Scream Studios
Record Label Atlantic | Atlantic

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