Slash’s last studio recording with Guns n’Roses was back in 1993 & the Spaghetti Incident. Two years later he came out with a semi-super group rock band Slash’s Snakepit and came out with It’s 5’0 Clock Somewhere. A totally different band with less famous musicians joined Slash for the follow up Snakepit album called Ain’t Life Grand. My interest in his work was very minimal as I couldn’t really get into the first album post GnR. Then came Velvet Revolver and I just didn’t like them much, mostly cause I didn’t like vocalist Scott Weiland. Now in 2010 out comes Slash’s first truly solo work – but as he is a guitarist and likes to work with singers, he has a ton of guest vocalists. Self-titled and stocked with a bunch of adrenaline, I’m finally getting back into the top hatted guitar player. Slash is now relevant for me!
Ok, without further ado let’s get into the album. Hot off the start, my favourite slash riff, solo hits me bang on the forehead. Ghost is my favourite track on this record. Featuring the vocal chops of The Cult singer Ian Astbury, it’s that fun rock n’roll track that I love. Ozzy Osbourne is someone that Slash considers to be a guru, as does a multitude of rockers across the globe. So no wonder the Ozzman has been asked to contribute his vocals to a track – Crucify The Dead. Musically it does sound more of an Ozzy song rather than something Slash would put out but that is probably intentional. Ok next track, Beautiful Dangerous, is where I don’t like it so much. Because Fergie comes on and sings! If you listen to this song, you get the feeling that this chick is looking for that rock image but I don’t get it! I guess the song was written with her in mind. I also get this as a song that strippers will dance to on one of their routine! Ok, maybe it isn’t so bad!
One of the big singles from the albums comes up next – Back From Cali is about leaving the big bad city of Los Angeles and going back to wherever the hometown is. Featuring the vocals of Myles Kennedy, this song is a live crowd favourite. Myles has been so important to Slash’s live shows that the tour supporting this albums is attributed as Slash featuring Myles Kennedy, as the singer is doing most of the songs on the tour. Chris Cornell does a very good job in Promise, a weird sounding little ditty that I like so much. Cornell sounds as earnest as possible pleading to never change the fire in you. Next comes the big one going by the music industry’s reaction – Andrew Stockdale (Wolfmother’s vocalist) does a wail and a howl in By The Sword, a song about how to face death when the time comes. I’ve seen a couple of live renditions of this song and it’s even better live. One of the surprises on the album is the song Gotten. The way it sounds stylistically and lyrically, I’m finding it hard to picture Slash behind the song. Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine lends his vocals for the song.
Ancient rocker Lemmy lends a hand and his vocals in Doctor Alibi. Again this song sounds more like a track from Lemmy’s band rather than Slash featuring Lemmy. We get an instrumental in Watch This feautring Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) on drums and Slash’s old buddy in both GnR & Velvet Revolver Duff McKagan on bass. This track sounds nothing like Slash has done before and hence comes as being rather fresh. Kid Rock can actually sing – I thought he was just crap err… rap! Kidding, I have heard him sing properly so was aware of his chops. He lends his vocals to I Hold On, a song about holding on to the one you love. I have never heard the band Sevenfold or their singer M. Shadows. The song Nothing To Say sounds nothing like I expect from Slash but the singer sounds a bit like Axl when he sings in a lower tone. The song is ok. Myles Kennedy returns with Starlight, a song about love, broken hearts and making things better and finding a place to belong.
I’ve never heard of Rocco Deluca who sings Saint Is A Sinner Too. The song basically sounds like a song by Deluca and his band The Burden with Slash guesting on guitar, rather than the other way round. Again, I dunno if that is a good thing or a bad thing; it’s a good song nothing against it. Iggy Pop features on the next track; We’re All Gonna Die tells you that since it’s inevitable let’s gets high, be nice to each other & jump and pee on the ground! Very cool song though and oh he also likes your tits! An initial shock was that Cypress Hill have done a rap version of Paradise City – THE song that turned me on to GnR as a 12 year old kid – a holy song as far as GnR fans are considered. Even bigger shock was the bombastic vocals screaming out the chorus and other lines – fuck it’s Fergie! Sounding like Axl’s baby sister she shows that yes she is a rocker chick in hiding, dolled up and singing nonsensical lyrics with that wimpy crap Black Eyed Turds hasn’t dulled her natural big vocals. Grudging admiration.
As this is the deluxe version of the album we also get acoustic versions of Back From Cali & a very good & excellent acoustic version of Sweet Child Of Mine featuring Myles Kennedy. Maybe Myles should never go back to Alterbridge and stick with Slash and form a strong duo. And going by majority of the comments in Youtube, most fans agree. Good album; I’d give it 8 outta 10. So I like Slash’s music again and things are good. Enjoy the video for Back From Cali.