Mankind has struggled with many questions throughout our history. Why are we here? Why is there something instead of nothing at all? Why would a man in a sequin suit with long blonde hair try to look tough in a garden? Perhaps we will never truly understand the answers to these questions, but I’m sure gonna try.
“Bring ‘Em Bach Alive!” is Sebastian Bach’s 1999 debut solo album, released following his departure from the band Skid Row. Having been in Skid Row since 1987, Bach’s move towards his solo career was risky. If Bach wanted to keep his hard rock aesthetic alive, he needed to make sure to remain intimidating and cool. So naturally, he donned a sparkly, sparkly suit; emptied three or four bottles of conditioner into his beautifully lush blonde hair, and got to work creating his album.
I’ve seen some bad album covers in my day. We’ve all seen Ken’s “By Request Only” or Shut Up and Dance’s “Dance Before the Police Come,” but none of these artists were so prominently in the public eye when they released their albums. Bach was on a major label, had major name recognition, and still managed to choose a photo for his big album that looks like he’s really upset about the bush behind him. His angry eyes, pursed lips and messy hair all send vastly different messages, and most of the photo remains obscured by a rusty picture frame.
It’s in wondering about how this photo could have come in be in any way that you realize you haven’t actually started listening to the music yet. Upon starting the first track, instead of some wicked guitar solo to start us off, we have a cheering crowd with foreboding bass drum hits. I would love to make fun of it, but it’s honestly a very effective way to start off an album. It’s heavy and dark and excited, everything you need to start off a really, heavy metal album.
After a small drum lead, we head into the first track, “Rock ‘N Roll.” One of the five studio recorded songs in the album, this song is shockingly good. Anton Fig’s drum fills keep this track busy, loud and structured. Bach’s vocals are perplexingly on point and everything mixes together into a wall of sound that has no right to be as good as it is. This holds for the next four studio tracks, and then we arrive at the bulk of the album.
A majority of this album is live tracks from the time since Bach left Skid Row. While many of these songs continue the trend of tidal waves of rock, there are some understated ballads to be found scattered in the tracklist. I would definitely have to recommend a listen.
“Bring ‘Em Bach Alive!” is unexpectedly great. Beneath Bach’s pursed lips and sequined suit lays an incredible rock album everyone should give a listen.