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Sebastian Bach, Kicking & Screaming – Album Review

Kicking and Screaming

Sebastian Bach is a survivor. Neither a recent divorce from his wife of 18 years; nor losing his New Jersey home to Hurricane Irene; nor being pursued by an angry deity on the cover of his latest solo album can deter the former Skid Row frontman from finding a way to persevere and turn his pain into kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll.

‘Kicking & Screaming’ opens with the disc’s title track — also the first single — featuring a percussive, bass-heavy groove and a catchy hook in the vein of Skid Row’s dark multiplatinum 1991 sophomore effort, ‘Slave to the Grind.’ (That’s Bach’s new squeeze, model Minnie Gupta, in the video for the song below.)

While sounding thoroughly modern, the song ‘Kicking & Screaming’ has some nice nods to the past with veteran metal drummer Bobby Jarzombek’s brief use of the cowbell during the bridge, and a tasty solo from young gun guitarist Nick Sterling that ends with a Randy Rhoads-like run down the guitar neck shortly after the 2:30 mark.

Elsewhere on the album, the lyrics of growling rocker ‘One Good Reason’ take another kind of no-holds-barred approach to the past. Bach rages, “I exist in the now / Ain’t got no time for looking back / At the jokers and the clowns, no,” in what seems to be a firm diss to any possibility of a cash cow reunion with his former bandmates in Skid Row, no matter how much fans would like to see it.

‘TunnelVision’ is another emblematically heavy rocker, with an almost industrial-like stomp — little wonder when you consider the song was co-written with and features a guest appearance by guitarist John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie).

Of course, no Sebastian Bach record would be complete without power ballads and ‘Kicking & Screaming’ offers a trifecta: ‘I’m Alive,’ ‘Wishin” and ‘Dream Forever.’ With crisp production by Bob Marlette, all three remind us that Bach’s voice, though certainly weathered, can still be as honeyed as his golden-boy looks are enduring.

Watch the Sebastian Bach ‘Kicking & Screaming’ Video

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