Living the dream, one track at a time…
Slash‘s output during his tenure as Guns ‘n Roses’s lead guitarist is probably my least favourite of everything he has put his name to, with the exception being the masterpiece that is Appetite for Destruction.
When he released his first Slash’s Snake Pit album It’s 5 ‘O Clock Somewhere way back in 1995, I personally thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
From there, after one more Snake Pit album, he delved headfirst into Velvet Revolver which featured ex-Stone temple Pilots front man Scott Weiland, backed up by Guns ‘n Roses minus Axl Rose.
After two great albums in Contraband and Libertad, Slash finally met his perfect musical match when he paired up with Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy, who in my opinion is the finest voice on the planet today, closely followed by Glen Hughes of Deep Purple/Black Country Communion fame.
SLASH with MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS – Living The Dream
So here we are, four albums deep into the discography with Living The Dream and we’re off and running with “Call Of The Wild“. From the off, it builds into an explosion of guitar and pounding drums and then that sweet vocal track hits. This is a great start to the album, full of fantastic vocal melodies, strong guitar lines and hooks galore. Todd Kerns‘s bass is plugging away all over the place, backed up by the powerful rhythmic beats of Brent Fitz and then in comes the fine fretwork of the top hatted gentleman.
Next up, “Serve You Right” has a groove all over it right from the start. The husky tones of Myles Kennedy snake across the underlying riff and the groove drips from the amps. This is a great track that reminds me of AC/DC mixed with Guns ‘n Roses with that head nodding groove throughout.
“My Antidote” begins with a scratching guitar line and sweet vocal harmonies that build into a riff that reminds me of Use Your Illusion era Guns ‘n Roses. The chorus is strong and (to my ears) the guitar solo is ripping. It’s the best thing I’ve heard so far on an already great album.
“Mind Your Manners” is kicking ass, as it screams out of the starting gates. This one is just an all out rocker with a pounding chorus backed up by a powerhouse of musicians.
“Lost Inside The Girl” has ballad written all over it and that’s pretty much what it is. I’m a sucker for a good ballad and this definately fits into that category. It’s not your usual ballad though, as it’s more upbeat with off guitar tones here and there. I also love how the guitar follows the vocal lines throughout and that solo is just so 70’s soulful.
“Read Between The Lines” rocks out with some wah wah and a pounding rhythmic beat.
“Slow Grind” has such a cool guitar riff, as it kicks in and follows throughout. Just a great uptempo rocker. Following is “The One You Loved Is Gone” and features a beautifully played acoustic hook. When Myles Kennedy‘s vocals come in, it reminds me of Alter Bridge tracks like “Watch Over You“. This is now my favourite new song, it has so much soul and those backing vocals fit perfectly into the mood.
“Driving Rain” quickly mops up the emotions and gets on with the ass kicking once again. This is the closest thing I’ve heard to Alter Bridge on here so far; it just has that feel to it, great song though.
“Sugar Cane” starts with a click of the sticks and a 1,2,3 and then pounds out of the amps like a wild animal looking for a hot meal. That riff is so cool, it’s fast picked and rhythmic.
“The Great Pretender” is one of those “Holy Shit” moments. That guitar is so powerful and sounds so clear, it’s like guitar in 3D. Thankfully, it’s not “The Great Pretender” from way back when – this is an epic track, which is so well put together.
Finally, we get to “Boulevard Of Broken Hearts“, the final track on an amazing album and easily the best of the four in my opinion. This track rips, that riff, that voice, that beat, that bass….. I could go on, but…. just go out and buy it and when the band come to your town/your city, go out and get a ticket because it’s worth every cent to see these guys live.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE ALBUM
This is easily the best of four great albums. The production is so clear and sounds so sweet as it hits the amps with the sub woofer rattling around on the floor. The band itself have come into their own and become such a tight unit over time. I’m personally hoping if there is more Guns n’ Roses on the horizon, it doesn’t take Slash away from this amazing band too long. This album has elements of Alter Bridge and Guns ‘n Roses. However, most of all, it has Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators all over it.