ALBUM REVIEW: Skid Row – The Gang’s All Here

The Gang’s All Here (earMUSIC) is the sixth album from New Jersey’s Skid Row. Of course, the gang in question is somewhat different from the one that emerged in the late eighties with Sebastian Bach at the helm. The core lineup of guitarists Dave “The Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill plus bassist Rachel Bolan has remained since 1987, but many drummers and singers have come and gone since the band’s 1999 reformation. Rob Hammersmith has sat behind the kit since 2010, whilst former Swedish Idol winner Erik Grönwall only joined earlier this year, replacing ZP Theart.

The new record’s press release boldly claims that experiencing The Gang’s All Here is “like the first time you heard Skid Row, all over again.” Following the same theme, the cover art is oh-so eighties trash rock, with the band’s logo scrawled garishly over an image of the members seen from behind wearing identically patched leather jackets and walking past the bins on a nondescript street. There’s even a simulated film of sticky grime over the whole record cover that had me wiping my computer monitor; the glam / punk blend couldn’t be more perfect.

So, does the music itself successfully reanimate the feeling of joyously carefree fists-in-the-air and caution-to-the-wind nights of sticky-floored and sweat-soaked headbanging? In short, yes. 


In spades. 

The Gang’s All Here sounds exactly like a Skid Row record should, and that’s probably all you really need to know. Review over.

Alright, I’ll elaborate. The record drips with blues, hard rock, heavy metal, glam, grit, swagger, melody, and attitude. The heavy and punchy production expertly blends eighties sensibilities with a modern crispness (check out the reverb on the snare drum to see what I mean) so that The Gang’s All Here sounds like it could have been recorded in 1989 with the mix and master just tweaked subtly to bring it up-to-date. Erik Grönwall’s vocals couldn’t be better suited — he has the balance between sneering snarl and sensitivity absolutely down. 

The gang backing vocals (performed by all band members) bring a gleeful smile to the face every time they come in. The songs themselves (written, I presume, mostly by Bolan and / or Sabo as usual) are of the highest quality and are absolutely up there with the Skid Row’s “classic” output. Intensely catchy to the point of excess without compromising one iota on the quotient of massive riffs and dirty rock ’n’ roll grooves, this standard of material is what always set Skid Row apart from the plethora of seventh-rate hair bands that emerged around the same time only to be blown out of the water by the imminent explosion of grunge.

Could The Gang’s All Here — an unashamedly revivalist record that offers no genuinely new artistic advancement to the table — be viewed as ridiculous, an unnecessary and irrelevant distraction in the context of 2022? Yes. Do some of us need a bit of that kind of distraction right now? Yes. Will fans of classic Skid Row absolutely lap this record up? Undoubtedly.

A joyful, over-the-top, unapologetic album that is pure Skid Row and doesn’t pretend otherwise. Glorious.


Buy the album here:


9 / 10






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