B is for… Sebastian Bach
(Photo by Jamie - Flickr: Sebastian Bach & Rachel Bolan, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14408377)
Hah! Didn't see that coming now, did you? OK, so I'm aware that a number of my listeners will be fully aware of Señor Bach from his time as lead shoutmarshall for that fine old American band, Skid Row, who released two absolutely barnstorming albums (and one mediocre one) right before the coming of The Dark Times. None of that is in question, and is a matter of immutable record.
But what you may not have known is that Bach has also made some cracking solo albums. Unfortunately, there is some total nonsense here too (Madam is please advised to skip directly past Bring 'Em Bach Alive! and Bach 2 Basics), and I actually know next to nothing about The Last Hard Men or SuperGroup other than they are things that have happened, so please bear with me, caller.
Where it gets properly interesting is the true solo Bach stuff, the albums where he just went into a studio with a band to write and record an album rather than producing something through a TV show or assembling a doomed roomful of broken egos. 2007's Angel Down was a promising if a little inconsistent affair, featuring a smattering of little-known covers, and even a couple of guest vocals from none other than Seb's good pal, Bill Bailey. It doesn't hit its mark every time, but it's still not a bad record overall.
Bach moved it up a gear for 2011's Kicking & Screaming, though. Gone were the covers and the attention-grabbing guest spots, and in their place is solid record of damned good rock songs. One reviewer quoth:
Kicking & Screaming is unexpectedly fantastic and the Sebastian Bach record that I've been wishing for, for more than a decade now…
Citation: Dave Steed of Popdose.com, via Wikipedia
…and I remember feeling exactly the same when I heard it. In fact I recall taking to Twitter and posting something like "I'm listening to brand new albums from Sebastian Bach, Electric Boys, Mr. Big and Primus… is it 1990 again?" and Seb replied to me saying "Actually, it's 2011…"
His point, of course being, that no it's not 1990 any more and he (like the others) was doing more than just rehashing the past. Good point well made, Mr. B, I shan't say it again.
And it gives me the very greatest pleasure to say that he's gone and done it again. 2014 saw the release of what is for sure Bach's best solo record to date, Give 'Em Hell. This one has been on pretty solid rotation here at Casa Murray since I got it and it's a cracker. While I can take or leave the April Wine cover, the rest is top drawer material and as I type this the chorus of "All My Friends Are Dead" just will not leave me alone.
Give it a go yourself, and you may find you like it right up you. Don't be put off if Skid Row weren't your cup of tea, either. Like I say, Sebastian is no longer looking Bach.
Give 'Em Hell, natch.
You would perhaps like some video to go with that, Sir? I bring you "Temptation" from the aforementioned Give 'Em Hell, and a very fine rockingest tune it is too once it finally BOTHERS to start. Eagle-eared readers may spot a familiar figure wielding the lower strings. Oh yes indeed, that's how we do things around here, yessum.