Sebastian Bach Deserves A Nobel For Figuring Out How To Get Axl Rose Off His Ass

Sebastian Bach’s gotta be full on in careful-what-you-wish-for mode. The former Skid Row lead singer just released his first solo album in seven years, Angel Down. And while it’s pretty solid post-hair-band metal–melodic with thick bass and doubletracked guitars–all the talk about the album centers on the reclusive yeller who shows up for three tracks, fella who used to go by the name Bill Bailey.

Longtime readers of the site know that Axl’s one of my–well, “heroes” ain’t the right word, more “fascinations.” So, yeah, when I read that Axl was going to be performing on Bach’s album, I was there before you could say ooooooooaaaaaaaAAAAAA (cough, cough) OOOOOOOWWWwwwuuughh. (Transcription of 2000s-era Axl trying to nail that opening scream on “Welcome to the Jungle.”) Axl duets on three songs–an utterly perfunctory cover of Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle,” a paint-by-numbers Whiskey-A-Go-Go tune called “Love Is A Bitchslap,” and “Stuck Inside,” a juggernaut that’s by far the best of the bunch. Of course, I bought ’em all. The rest of the album is like visiting your old school after years away; it’s instantly familiar, completely comfortable, and will annoy the hell out of anybody who didn’t live through that past with you.

One of the ironies of this album is that when Skid Row put out its monster “Slave To The Grind” CD back in the summer of 1991, all anyone could talk about was how it was a perfect holdover for the then-delayed “Use Your Illusion.” Now, Bach’s solo CD is a bit of an appetizer for “Chinese Democracy.” Of course, Illusion was delayed by only a couple months; Democracy’s going on thirteen years delay. And yes, whenever it does come out, I’ll be right there at the front of the line, oxygen line and all.

Jay

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