Skid Row get harder and heavier on their sophomore effort, matching Sebastian Bach's gritty, streetwise rants to lean, driving riffs that manage to back up all the attitudinal posturing. Largely missing are the bits of pop-metal fluff that filled out Skid Row; in their place are tales from the dark side about drugs, corruption, and the like, with Bach affecting a tough, threatening persona most of the time. The furious noise kicked up behind Bach is usually more threatening than his overwrought vocal delivery, but Slave to the Grind is powerful enough that it doesn't really matter. "Monkey Business," "Get the Fuck Out," and the thrashy title track crush most anything on the debut, and power ballads like "Quicksand Jesus" and "Wasted Time" are far less generic than their Skid Row counterparts. Many observers were surprised when Slave to the Grind became the first heavy metal album to debut at number one on the Billboard charts, but it really was one of the best -- and heaviest -- examples of mainstream hard rock/heavy metal in the genre's MTV heyday.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Huey