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Nuhtaya, Roving reporter

Sebastian Bach - Kicking and Screaming

(Frontiers/Riot! Entertainment)

Sebastian Bach - Kicking and ScreamingSebastian Bach has graced us with his fifth solo studio album, Kicking and Screaming.

The CD opens with punchy title track "Kicking and Screaming", which follows on from the hard rock of the 2007 release Angel Down.

"Tunnelvision" features John Lowery (aka John 5 - former guitarist for Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson), who adds his unique stamp to the song with his intricate guitar work.

Guitarist Nick Sterling joined the band on tour when he was 19. Now 21, he is the main composer and lyric-writer on the album. For such a young man his talent is amazing. The songs he writes have a much more mature sentiment than you would imagine.

Nick also plays bass, along with electric, acoustic and baritone guitar on the album. Listening to the tracks, you can feel the passion in his playing. The range of technique he displays is evidence of his years of playing (he played on stage with Alice Cooper at a New Year’s Eve concert when he was 10!).

Sebastian Bach’s vocals are perfection, of course. They have stood the test of time, proving that although he was the voice of Skid Row in the '80s, he still knows how to work the machine that made him famous.

Bobby Jarzombek, who also played on Angel Down, continues to provide the powerful backbone to the songs on Kicking and Screaming.

"I’m Alive" is a beautiful ballad. The lyrics by Nick Sterling are so robust.

I have it all, I have nothing.
It's all in my mind from another time.
But who am I to complain about circumstance?
Give me another chance at finding the truth.

Sebastian has been known to use the operatic Bel Canto style of singing as a warmup and it obviously works, because his vocals are still in good shape, unlike some other musicians from the same era.

"Wishin'" is another ballad that displays a genteel and soft tone in Sebastian’s vocals, which is rarely heard. It's hard to express just how much Nick’s lyrics fill me with joy. They are relatable and incredibly mature.

Bonus song "Jumpin’ Off the Wagon" is a rebellious song by Sebastian, lyricwise, with a fantastic piano solo in the middle.

The CD/DVD Deluxe edition of Kicking and Screaming includes a 50-minute documentary. As Long As I Got The Music: The making of Kicking and Screaming gives an insight into the album's recording process. It features eight live tracks, seven from Angel Down and one from Kicking and Screaming. There are also three bonus music videos for "Tunnelvision", "Kicking and Screaming", and "I’m Alive".

This is a good package, featuring music made by true quality musicians who don’t rely on auto tuners or pre-programmed tracks. A great album, complete with the essential ballad or three.

3 out of 5

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