This is something I wasn't expecting; Skid Row is putting out an EP 2013. That might be the new format for a lot of bands to release their music, but it is odd that a band with their following need to conform to that. Anyway, for those of you who aren't familiar with Skid Row, they put out their debut self-titled record back in 1989. Personally, I really like their first three records (Skid Row, Slave to the Grind, and Subhuman Race). They have a gritty, sometimes bluesy, hard rock sound but also have a great sense of melody and aren't afraid to throw a ballad or two around. It seems like after 1996 when Sebastian Bach was kicked out of the band, their legacy went down with him. Although not as glaringly obvious in their last two albums, United World Rebellion - Chapter One is exactly what you'd expect to hear a band that's still trying to hang on to something that hasn't been for the better part of 20 years.

The first thing any fan who doesn't know any of Skid Row's work aside from their first three albums is that the vocalist doesn't sound exactly like Sebastian Bach, but it's annoyingly similar-almost like he's trying to copy Bach. For example: In Genesis, when Peter Gabriel left and Phil Collins was left to do vocal duties. They sound similar, but it's not the same as Gabriel. The same principle applies here. A positive aspect of the member situation is that the original bass player and both original guitarists are still in the group. You can tell this as well, which is great. I'm a big fan of Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill's guitar work; they're an underrated duo in my eyes. "Kings of Demolition" shows off their knack for heavy, huge-sounding riffs and melodic choruses. Some blues-rock soloing is showcased at the end, full of pinch harmonics like it's 1989 all over again. Overall this track is pretty par for the course, especially coming from a band who wrote anthems like "Youth Gone Wild" and "Slave to the Grind."

"Let's Go" follows suit, but relies more on the groove, with the verses just being double-stopped power chords. Around three quarters through the song was my favorite solo on this EP which starts with a pretty impressive lightning-fast harmonized run. "This is Killing Me" breaks up the pace a little bit, being that it's a power ballad. The problem I'm noticing is that since this band has already accomplished and written things much greater than this EP, it seems to give it an unfair disadvantage. Sure, this song has a great sense of melody and is memorable, but can it stand up to songs like "Quicksand Jesus" or "18 and Life"?

The last two tracks of the album do a good job combining elements from all the songs-good use of dynamics, tons of bluesy riffs, and melodic and at points memorable choruses. Again, is the band proving they're still relevant? In all fairness, this EP is better than their last two albums. I think hardcore fans of this band will not accept anything that doesn't have Sebastian Bach on it. However, if you're a casual hard rock fan or a casual fan of Skid Row, there's definitely something for you. Although I think they should either do some reunion stuff or call it a day, I have to give them credit for trying to go back to their older sound for this EP. Whether it works and holds a torch to their old material or not is up to the listener.