I put Slash’s most recent Slash album last week on my commute featuring Myles Kennedy, Apocalyptic Love, and reconfirmed it’s failure.
Street Value: $4
Top Hat Worthy: Standing in the Sun, You’re a Lie, Shots Fired, Anastasia.
Flush Twice: The Rest
The rest of the album is packed with completely forgettable songs. This was a huge disappointment after seeing Slash with Myles kill it live twice prior to album playing a setlist of Slash solo and choice GNR. For evidence, check out the great 2011 double album Slash Live.
This inspired me to revisit Slash’s superior 2010 album, Slash, and make the decision of spending my valuable time writing this review.
What do you call a rock album that starts with the lyrics “Kill the ghost, that hides in your soul” and ends with the lyrics “I’m gonna pee on the ground, then I’m gonna jump around.” You call that album Slash.
|The song “Out Ta Get Me” was about Axl’s fear of plastic surgeons and hair implants. His paranoia was justified.|
Since 1994, after Guns N’ Roses disbanded acrimoniously, Slash has released several solo albums, two Velvet Revolver albums, and guested on multiple artist’s albums. During that same time, Axl built an underground lair, played hopscotch with imaginary circus midgets, invested in ginger colored dreadlocks, spent $15 million on Chinese Democracy and has started every concert at 3am.
While none of Slash’s efforts have matched up to the songwriting genius of Appetite and Illusion, they have all had some great jams, riffs, and solos. Bands are always the sum of their parts, and Slash was always the soul of G’nR. That being said, Slash’s 2010 self titled collaboration with 12 different singers Kills Axl Dead.
At first look, setting up this guest singer extravaganza seems like an evil idea from a label executive to duplicate the sales success of Santana. And you know what? It probably was. This helps explains why Fergie is on the album. Is it Guns N’ Roses? Hell no. But by Slash co-writing with various artists, he has made his most consistent post-G’nR album with just as much focus put into the actual songwriting as the guitars and the production is nearly identical to Appetite and Illusion.
Here’s the highlights:
Ghost- Ian Astbury: The lead singer of the Cult sings, as previously mentioned, -“Kill the ghost, that hides in your soul – Rock and Roll.” I can understand why you would kill the ghosts in Poltergeist – and Casper for just being fucking annoying- but a ghost named Rock and Roll? That just sounds like a dude I would sit down with and share a pint. Regardless of Ian’s misplaced aggression, the songs riff is instantly memorable and it’s a great opening track.
Crucify the Dead – Ozzy: The first couple times I heard this slow burner, I thought that Ozzy was mumbling about corpses, trains, black magic, etc. You know, the usual topics. Then I heard the line “a loaded gun jammed by a rose.“ I pulled up the lyrics online and discovered that this is Slash’s love letter to Axl delivered by non other than the godfather of metal.
The thorns are not around your head
Your ego cursed you till you bled
You cannot crucify the dead.
To me your dead.
Slash is rock’s Tony Soprano. “Axl? He’s dead to me.
Back From Cali- Myles Kennedy: When I first glanced at this title I thought this was going to be a cover of LL Cool J’s “Goin’ Back To Cali” and I imagined what Slash would look like wearing a Kangol. It’s actually an original song, one of the best on the album with Myles Kennedy on vocals. Unfortunately they couldn’t pull off a whole album together with Apocalyptic Love.
Promise- Chris Cornell: It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Soundgarden thought it would be a splendid idea to collaborate with hip-hop producer Timbaland and released the worst CD in the history of recorded music …. or the greatest comedy album of all time. It sold 17 copies, all used as gag gifts.
The album was called Scream which was exactly what everyone did when they listened to samples on iTunes. While the song “Promise” is a return to form, I would still like a legal document from Mr. Cornell with a promise to stay at least 300 yards away from Timbaland.
By The Sword-Andrew Stockdale: This was the first single, features one of Slash’s best solos, the lyrics are nonsensical babble ( about swords, I think), and sounds like everything on Wolfmother’s latest solid release Cosmic Egg. In other words it sounds exactly like White Stripes, Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath.
Doctor Alibi – Lemmy: If anyone needs medical attention it’s Lemmy. This is a man whose face looks like the surface of the moon and has conducted a 40 year case study on what smoking 17 packs of Marlboro Reds and having a quart of Jim Beam for breakfast on a daily basis does to a man.
He is told by a doctor – that apparently enjoys malpractice lawsuits- “You’ll be alright, just keep doing what you love, every single
night.” What’s more shocking than this advice is that it’s one of my favorite tracks.
We’re all going to die-Iggy Pop: I don’t know that much about Iggy except that he really enjoys starvation, leather pants, and doesn’t own a shirt. “Hey, I really like you’re tits, I’ll say anything that fits.” This poetry, rivaling the work of Henry David Thoreau, leads to Iggy singing about pissing on the lawn, dancing a jig, and opting to not pay his bills. This and Lemmy’s track are the sleaziest and most G’nR-sounding on the album.
Bottom line is this is a great rock album.
Pick it up and be very happy with some straight up Rock and Fucking Roll.