I have listened to the new Slash *Deep breath* Open Brackets Feat Full stop (But not Featuring) Myles Kennedy Ampersand The Conspirators Close Brackets *and breathe* album quite a bit over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been asking Siri to put it on for me using that exact moniker and I’ve come to a conclusion. It would have been more efficient to have walked over to the record rack, select the delicious red vinyl discs to put on the turntable. Then to drop the needle every 15 minutes on all four sides of heavy duty classic rock, than it is dealing with this bands truly awful name.
GET A NAME! Gripes aside, Living The Dream really is a ‘for the converted only’ type of listening experience. I really don’t see it becoming any ones gateway record to the works of the man in the top hat. What it is though is a deeply textured dense heavy rock record with touchstones of lots of heavy metal history all the way through it. It does seem purposefully designed to keep the Casuals out. Even the choices of song names are hiding behind rock history past. The Great Pretender will never take the place of the Freddie Mercury hit of the same name. Nor shall Boulevard Of Broken Hearts eclipse Green Day’s similarly titled big ballad. Sugar Cane will continue to belong to Sonic Youth, Call Of The Wild is Deep Purple’s a little longer and I doubt even Mind Your Manners will usurp the Pearl Jam single of only a slight vintage. I don’t however think this re-purposing of already taken song titles is a lack of imagination. Not if you *Ahem* Read Between The Lines…
The Slash & Co road show is a heady mix of old school classic rock standards and newer self penned material. No matter how great the work of this new band is (and for my money it’s pretty darned wonderful) it will never be as rapturously received as the encore of Paradise City or that moment during the opening hour when they have played several tracks from Living The Dream and or the 3 records that proceeded it then suddenly throw in a Night Train or a Sweet Child. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try though.
I’d argue that while all 3 of the albums featuring Myles and Slash (and & and) would benefit from being edited down to 10 tracks a piece, each album features some career highs for all involved. I say that including the bloke who has sold in excess of 100 million records. The Jukebox style first solo album though is perfect and all it’s bonus and ancillary tracks are also total nuggets. Except for the one with Kid Rock. That was pants.
Read Between The Lines has a nice juicy squelch box intro riff. One which soon turns rock hard and heavy before making way for Myles to spookily build up from a baritone whisper to full rock star screech in just two or three lines of lyrics. He’s not just covering Axl Rose’s neighborhood he’s tipping his cap at Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson in his vocal style. Myles work as a solo artist and in Alter Bridge is quality stuff, for me it’s when paired with Slash that he’s a true rock heavy weight, right up there among the very best front men in the business. I chose this track from the album for several reasons. It’s got quite a few textures, it’s a bit Van Halen in some places, a little Alice In Chains in others and most of all I choose it because when we get the man who’s name is biggest on the cover to step center stage and do his thing. It’s a classic Slash solo. Epic but not over long, light of touch but heavy metal to the core in all it’s glorious fun and exciting form. It could have come from any time between Aerosmith’s debut through Appetite For Destruction or up to Massive Wagons in 2018.
This music is timeless because it is the best type of music. \m/
This is what I paid for when I ponied up in advance for a double vinyl record without hearing a track from it. The same guitar player who captivated me with the high notes on Anastasia, matched the powerhouse vocals of many a rock legend on the RnFnR album and has played in huge supergroups has never let me down. His Snakepit band never found huge success despite being entirely decent so I understand the reasoning behind that current band name (put the big name upfront) to bring the Guns N’ Roses crowds eye to the marquee outside the venue. On record though It’s safe to say at this point Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators are a band worthy of their own reputation. They do deserve a proper name though.