"Slave To The Grind" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US heavy rock/metal act Skid Row. The album was released through Atlantic Records in June 1991 and produced by prolific German producer Michael Wagener (Dokken, Mötley Crüe, White Lion...etc.) and guitarist Dave Sabo. Upon release "Slave To The Grind" debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart as the first ever heavy metal release to do so. The album spawned no less than five singles, which all were made into music videos too. Skid Row were on the roll in those days and arguably one of the most successful heavy rock/metal artists of that era.
"Slave To The Grind" was released in two different versions. The uncensored version features the track "Get the Fuck Out", which apparently was so offensive that Atlantic Records had to release a version of "Slave To The Grind" where that particular track was removed. The latter version instead features the track "Beggar's Day".
While the music on "Slave To The Grind" is unmistakably the sound of Skid Row (although references to acts like Mötley Crüe and Guns N' Roses are valid), the band have developed their sound quite a bit since the self-titled debut album. The lineup is the same as the one who recorded the debut album, but something must have pissed these guys off because "Slave To The Grind" is generally a much darker and more heavy album than it´s more party tuned predecessor. It´s not all serious subjects and heavy riffs though and "Slave To The Grind" is a pretty varied album, with both heavy metal oriented tracks (the title track is the best example of that), groovy blues based hard rockers and power ballads.
No matter which musical territory Skid Row cover, they do it with passion, skill, and conviction. Sebastian Bach delivers a great vocal performance, the guitars are raw and edgy and the guitar solos blistering. To top it off Skid Row features a tight and organic sounding rhythm section, which successfully drive the music forward. The dark, organic, and heavy sound production are very well sounding too and suits the music perfectly.
So "Slave To The Grind" is a great sophomore album by Skid Row. The band are well playing and have a distinct sounding musical style, and the album is well produced and the material well written. But above all Skid Row have developed their sound and not produced a clone of their highly successful debut album, which is always a danger when you release something as commercially successful as that album was. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.