Here is another addition from the box of the CD’s I found, to a previously reported Record Vault collection for Sebastian Bach.
“Give Em Hell” is the album.
It’s Bach’s fifth solo release, but only the third release to contain original studio recordings. It’s also at this point in time his last official release. Bach toured on this album, then went on an “18 And Live” tour and then went on a 30th Anniversary tour of Skid Row’s debut album.
As usual with a Sebastian Bach release, there is a crew of musicians, assembled to write and record the album, produced by Bob Marlette.
Steve Stevens co-wrote the songs, “Push Away”, “Had Enough” and “Gun To A Knife Fight” and also played on em. John 5 co-wrote the song “Temptation” and also plays on it. Duff McKagan plays bass on the whole album. Devin Bronson who is a songwriter and a guitarist co-wrote a lot of the songs and also plays the rest of the guitar tracks. Bobby Jarzombek is on drums, and if you are a Fates Warning fan, you would know of his work.
And there is a cover of “Rock N Roll Is A Vicious Game” from April Wine.
So let’s unpack it.
“Hell Inside My Head” is a rock and roll tour de-force. The riffs are excellent. Especially the intro melodic lead, which goes into a ZZ Top Texan groove.
“Destiny has put me to the test”
Who knows if there is a destiny or a pre-determined path?
What I do know is the choices I make or have made have definitely put me to the test on occasions many years later. Somehow I find a way through the chaos and madness.
“Harmony” has a melodic chorus, which is a good relief from the aggressiveness of “Hell Inside My Head”.
“All My Friends Are Dead” is one of my favourites on this album. The song is written by Bach, Bronson, Marlette and a person called Issac Carpenter. The intro riff is super heavy. Scorpions employed a similar riff for “The Cross” on the “Humanity” album.
The Chorus is catchy and the guitar playing throughout the song, is excellent, which is all done by Devon Bronson who is basically showcasing his abilities here.
“Temptation” has John 5 making an appearance on guitar. The songwriters are listed as Bach, John 5, Marlette and a person called Johnny Chromatic. I don’t know which songwriter wrote the intro riff, but it’s a monster. And the verses have a nice guitar riff, with a powerful melody from Bach.
“Push Away” is another favourite cut. This one is written by Bach and Steve Stevens.
The guitar playing is excellent. Stevens brings it.
And the way the song smoulders in the verses just to explode in the Chorus, works. But it’s the guitar playing that connects with me and from 3.08 to 4.28 it’s one of the best moments on the album, especially that guitar solo between 3.56 to 4.28.
In “Dominator”, Bronson takes the stage again with his guitar playing. It’s down tuned, like “Stockholm Syndrome” from Muse and heavy for a song that deals with bondage. And that last minute, the heaviness, brings back memories of Skid Row’s “Subhuman Race”.
“Had Enough” has a song writing committee of Bach, Bronson, Stevens, Marlette and a person called KS Anthony.
It’s sort of like a power ballad, but hang around for the 2.30 mark rolls around, the bridge riff and then the solo. And to top it off, there is an outro solo. For that alone, the song is high up on a list of mine, plus Bach delivers a vocal performance to rival his 80’s/early 90’s self.
“Gun To A Knife Fight” is written by Bach, Stevens, Marlette and KS Anthony. The verses roll while Bach delivers a vocal performance that will remind you of songs like “Psycho Love” and “The Threat”. And that melodic rock chorus needs more attention. And the lead break again is worthy of guitar hero status. On the three songs that Stevens appears, they have some of his best work on em.
“Taking Back Tomorrow” is needs more attention. But no one cares. The song structure and the riffs are excellent. This one is written by Bach, Bronson, Marlette and Issac Carpenter.
“Disengaged” is heavy, fast and aggressive. It rocks, it speeds, its melodic and Bach delivers a vocal line.
Bach always liked the heaviness in music and this album delivers on that hands down. And if you’re a fan of Steve Stevens and his style of guitar playing, the three tracks he makes an appearance on are essential listening.