Jumping large into my life, as the frontman of Skid Row in the late Eighties writing and singing iconic songs such as 18 and Life, I Remember You and Youth Gone Wild to name a few, Sebastian Bach has made history as “the first heavy metal singer on Broadway” with a now legendary turn in Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical in addition to leading roles in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jesus Christ Superstar. He has appeared in dozens of television series and films, ranging from Trailer Park Boys and Robot Chicken to Spongebob Squarepants, The Masked Singer, and Hell’s Kitchen. Speaking to his versatility, he’s the rare force of nature who can duet with Axl Rose and reprise a seven-season recurring role on Gilmore Girls.

Child Within The Man, Bach’s new solo outing, recorded with none other than powerhouse producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Mammoth WVH, Alter Bridge) behind the board. He proved to be the perfect fit both sonically and philosophically. Rather than record on the West Coast, Sebastian and his cohorts Devin Bronson (guitars), Todd Kerns (bass), and Jeremy Colson (drums) decamped to Florida and holed up at Elvis’ Studio Barbarosa.

They invariably benefitted from living, writing, and recording together under one roof – a first for Sebastian.  “In my whole career, I’ve never lived in a house with the band, and it was like a whole family. We’d walk downstairs, get coffee, eat breakfast, and go to work. It’s how Elvis does things.”  You can tell with how tight the sound is throughout the production.

So, Sebastian is Bach – sorry about the pun, but I couldn’t resist – and bringing his A game with his new album, Child Within The Man, being released through Reigning Phoenix Music.  With a sound that harkens back to those magical early albums of the late eighties, early nineties – this album has a little of something for everyone.

Everything Bleeds opens the album with an easy opening riff and lick before kicking into a frenetic pace, getting the head nodding and foot tapping.  As Sebastian’s familiar signature vocal lilt gives it an urgency that is reflective to the story within the lyrics.  A strong driving beat, good rocking solo, and tight performance by all members of the band sets the scene for the album to come.

Freedom is another up tempo track that has lyrics of “now I’m kicking ass and taking names’ which personifies how you expect that Bach is feeling with the recording of another great rocker of a track. It also has a guest spot from John 5 continuing his longstanding work with Bach.  (Hold On) To The Dream tricks you into thinking it is a bit of a ballad the way it starts before it powers up.  A slower tempo but dripping with power and intimidation (lyrics like “bang your head against the wall for nothing”) the first quarter of the album has really grabbed me.

What Do I Got To Lose? (co written with Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, Slash) introduces itself with a big bluesy riff before launching another head mover that has a similar feel, and keeps the tempo and the album moving along nicely.  Hard Darkness has a very heavy metal riff and dark feel throughout, keeping in line with the title. Future of Youth shows a bit more versatility with some help from Orianthi and rounds out the first half of the album nicely.

Vendetta kicks off the second half with its beefy riff letting us know that I’m still breathing.  F.U. is a faster rocker and almost sounds like an older Avenged Sevenfold number, particularly in the breakdown and solo by Steve Stevens (Billy Idol).  Crucify Me could be almost a continuation of the previous track in sound and the second half starts to drag for me, along with About To Break.

The album finishes of with the classic ballad – To Live Again – reminiscent of an early eighties sound and uplifting in its feel.  This is a nice way to round out the album and reminds us of what Sebastian Bach brings to the table.

So overall Child Within The Man is a solid album that has a lot of great tracks and is well worth a few spins.  I for one, am happy to have Bach bringing his swagger to new material.  The sound is just straight solid rock and it is great to hear with enough hooks to get your head rocking along in time.

Child Within The Man is out on May 10 2024.