Sebastian Bach

Give 'Em Hell

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Sebastian Bach declares "Rock n Roll Is a Vicious Game" on Give 'Em Hell, and while the words may not be his own -- it's a cover of an old April Wine tune -- the sentiment applies to the attitude of his fourth studio solo album. He's possessed by a brutal, take-no-prisoners attitude throughout the record -- that acoustic April Wine cover is as soft as it gets -- and he's unapologetic for pledging allegiance to the sound of the Sunset Strip circa 1987, going so far as to hire Duff McKagan to play bass and finding room for Steve Stevens to play a little guitar. Thing is, Give 'Em Hell winds up sounding tougher and harder than Skid Row did at their peak. First off, there is only one power ballad -- the grinding "Had Enough," which has a bit of a candied Beatles chorus -- and the guitars are always pushed to the front of the mix, giving the illusion that Bach has to scream to be heard. This visceral rush pays off, suggesting Bach is getting angrier and heavier as he's growing older.

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