Subhuman Race

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Subhuman Race
Skidrow-subhuman.jpg
Studio album by Skid Row
Released March 28, 1995
Recorded 1994
Studio Geenhouse Studio and Seacoast Sound, Vancouver, Canada
Genre Heavy metal
Length 56:39
Label Atlantic
Producer Bob Rock
Skid Row chronology
B-Side Ourselves
(1992)B-Side Ourselves1992
Subhuman Race
(1995)
Subhuman Beings on Tour
(1995)Subhuman Beings on Tour1995
Singles from Subhuman Race
  1. "My Enemy"
    Released: 1995
  2. "Breakin' Down"
    Released: 1995
  3. "Into Another"
    Released: 1995

Subhuman Race (stylized sUBHUMAN rACE) is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Skid Row, released on March 28, 1995 by Atlantic Records. This is the last Skid Row album with singer Sebastian Bach and drummer Rob Affuso, and the last one to be released on Atlantic. It is regarded as the band's heaviest record, and received positive reviews, Subhuman Race was not as successful as the band's first two albums. Certain tracks from the album were remixed for the band's compilation 40 Seasons: The Best of Skid Row, given more tender, slightly cleaner mixes to fit better with the other tracks. To promote Subhuman Race, Skid Row supported Van Halen in North America on their Balance tour.

Following the album, Skid Row released a live EP titled Subhuman Beings on Tour, featuring live performances from the Subhuman Race tour. It is also the band's only album to be produced by Bob Rock, also known for his work with bands like Metallica, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi and The Offspring.

Skid Row has not played any songs from Subhuman Race since the album's tour in 1995-1996,[1] though Bach has occasionally played them on his solo tours, including "Beat Yourself Blind", "Frozen", and the singles "My Enemy", "Into Another" and "Breakin' Down".[2][3][4][5] "Beat Yourself Blind" is the only song from this album the band has performed live with Bach's replacement Johnny Solinger and current singer ZP Theart, while "Remains to Be Seen" has never been played live once.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[6]
Chicago Tribune2.5/4 stars[7]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[8]
Entertainment WeeklyD[9]
Q4/5 stars[10]
Rock Hard7.0/10[11]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[12]

Subhuman Race received mixed to mostly positive reviews from music critics. AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that it saw the band "strip back their music to the basics" and was their "strongest and most vicious record to date."[6] Rolling Stone reviewer called it "the freshest riffage since last year's Soundgarden record" and also noted the "tight, hot guitar lines and radio hooks that burn themselves into your brain".[12] Q praised both the guitars that "grumble and mutter more menacingly than ever" and Bach's "awesome vocal pyrotechnics", summarizing that "Skid Row has come up with an outright winner."[10] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff found the album quite complex, with Skid Row "absorbing the best elements of grunge into their over-the-top love of all things metal." He praised Bach's performance and the band's "street-savvy" attitude and "prog ethic" shown in the record.[8] Conversely, Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly considered Subhuman Race made of "the same squealing, yowling, third-rate metal that made Skid Row pariahs in the first place", calling them an "unrepentant hair band of the ’80s" which had mangled their melodies "to get over their old 'power ballad' stigma."[9] Also Dean Golemis of the Chicago Tribune criticised Skid Row's "campy, formulaic arrangements that still cater to commercial appeal and offer nothing new to a genre plagued by cliches and copycats", but remarked as "Bach's vocal bravura stands as the album's saving grace."[7] Thomas Kupfer in his review for the German Rock Hard magazine wrote that "Skid Row will offend a lot of old fans with this disc", where "mediocrity dominates, the songs seem uninspired, and only the compact sound and the solid craftsmanship of the band members" save the album.[11]

The band members also do not reflect positively on their work on Subhuman Race. In an interview in November 2006, bassist Rachel Bolan expressed his negative feelings about the album: "That record was a nightmare. Internally the band had fallen apart but we were forced to go in and do another record and it was a nightmare with the recording, writing and producing. We worked with someone we had not worked with before after being so successful with Michael and we were used to the way he did things. I am not slighting Bob at all, he is a genius producer but it was bad timing. I did not have the greatest time, it was nobody's fault, it was just the way things were. Also the record absolutely sucks."[13] In a June 2018 interview on the "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" podcast, vocalist Sebastian Bach indicated that, despite featuring "some good tunes", the "very dated production sound" of Subhuman Race has made it an unlistenable album: "In the same way, probably, Lars Ulrich might think St. Anger is dated to that time, I think Subhuman Race might be our St. Anger."[14]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."My Enemy"Scotti Hill, Rob Affuso, Rachel Bolan,3:38
2."Firesign"Sebastian Bach, Bolan, Hill, Dave Sabo4:54
3."Bonehead"Bolan, Sabo2:16
4."Beat Yourself Blind"Bach, Hill, Bolan, Sabo5:02
5."Eileen"Bach, Affuso, Bolan, Sabo5:36
6."Remains to be Seen"Hill, Bolan, Sabo3:34
7."Subhuman Race"Hill, Bolan, Sabo2:40
8."Frozen"Bolan, Sabo4:43
9."Into Another"Bolan, Sabo4:02
10."Face Against My Soul"Bach, Bolan, Sabo, Affuso,4:20
11."Medicine Jar"Hill, Bolan, Sabo3:36
12."Breakin' Down"Sabo4:30
13."Iron Will"Hill, Affuso, Bolan, Sabo7:43[†]
14."Untitled hidden track"Unknown0:40

^ † The song "Iron Will" ends at 4:45 followed by 2:15 of silence before the hidden song plays

Personnel[edit]

Skid Row[edit]

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[15] 5
Canadian Albums Chart[16] 31
Dutch Albums Chart[15] 84
German Albums Chart[15] 57
Japanese Albums Chart[17] 6
Swedish Albums Chart[15] 21
Swiss Albums Chart[15] 49
UK Albums Chart[18] 8
US Billboard 200[19] 35

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Skid Row Tour Statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  2. ^ "My Enemy by Skid Row Statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Frozen by Skid Row Statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Into Another by Skid Row Statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Breakin' Down by Skid Row Statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved August 11, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Skid Row - Subhuman Race review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2018-07-19. 
  7. ^ a b Golemis, Dean (March 30, 1995). "Skid Row Subhuman Race (Atlantic)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (August 1, 2007). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 402. ISBN 978-1-894959-62-9. 
  9. ^ a b Farber, Jim (March 31, 1995). "Subhuman Race Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Skid Row: Subhuman Race". Q. May 1995. p. 114. 
  11. ^ a b Kupfer, Thomas (1995). "Review Album: Skid Row- Subhuman Race". Rock Hard (in German). No. 95. Retrieved July 20, 2018. 
  12. ^ a b Gold, Jonathan (April 20, 1995). "Skid Row: Subhuman Race : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone: 78. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  13. ^ Easton, Jeffrey (11 November 2006). "Interviews 2004 : Rachel Bolan - Skid Row". Metal Exiles.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 2018-07-19. 
  14. ^ "SEBASTIAN BACH Says SKID ROW's 'Subhuman Race' Album Suffers From 'A Very Dated Production Sound'". Blabbermouth.net. June 29, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "Skid Row – Subhuman Race" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada: Top Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Skid Row Chart History". Oricon. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Chart Stats – Skid Row". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Skid Row – Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 

External links[edit]