Though .38 Special was never in a class with Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, the Outlaws or the Marshall Tucker Band, some of its late-1970s and early- to mid-1980s output was spirited and quite enjoyable. But by the early 1990s, the Southern band had pretty much run out of steam. For the most part, Bone Against Steel is uneventful and much too slick for its own good. Tame, run-of-the-mill corporate rock tunes like "Signs of Love," "You Be the Dam, I'll Be the Water" and "The Sound of Your Voice" sound like third-rate Journey, and don't hold a candle to some of Special's earlier efforts. The CD has a few memorable tracks, including the anthemic "Rebel to Rebel" and the bar band-ish "Jimmy Gillum." But even so, Bone Against Steel is an album that only Special's most devoted fans will want. For novices, a much better investment would be A&M's 1987 collection Flashback: The Best of .38 Special.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson