Review by Pete Finn for MPM
Back in 2008 Slash started work on his debut solo album, a ‘Slash and Friends’ album, which was finally released in 2010, and was just called ‘Slash’, it featured amongst others, Lemmy, Ozzy, Fergie and Myles Kennedy.
He went on his first solo tour to support the album, with Myles Kennedy (vocals), Todd Kerns (bass) and Brent Fitz (drums), thus Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators were formed.
His second solo album, was released as Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators in 2012. Ten years on we have ‘4’, the fourth featuring MKATC, who now include Frank Sidoris (guitar). This album is also a first for the legendary Gibson Guitar brand, with their newly formed Gibson Records who in a label partnership with BMG, signed Slash as their first artist.
I believe that the majority of the album was recorded by the band playing live together, apparently there are a few mistakes and anomalies in there too. So this is going to be a ‘real’ offering.
The album contains 10 tracks with a combined running time of just under 45 minutes, the opening track ‘The River is Rising’ was the first single to be released, and has a rolling tidal like intro, the lyric indicates how easily we can be brainwashed or tricked into believing something.
It’s straight into a true rock tempo pace with Slash’s mid track riff announcing the arrival of the new album, the melody is instantly etched on the back of the brain, Slash’s solo to close the track is fast and punchy, sparring with Fitz’s drums. This is ‘a must’ for a live show.
Fitz brings the second track in, and the pace slows for ‘Whatever Gets You By’, Kennedy’s vocal controlled and narrative, Kerns’ bass line has a funk undertone, then a scream and all hell is let loose for a Slash lead break of frantic mischief before it’s brought back under control. A clever track.
‘C’est le vie’, a strong grungy intro, with Kennedy given the chance to demonstrate an incredible vocal range. A track that will get the crowd bouncing when played live, Slash flexes the finger muscles as he teases the listeners ears with the solo. The rhythm section precisely controlling the tempo changes.
We glide into ‘The Path Less Followed’, a rolling tempo that takes you by the hand, a more Country/Blues sound, it’s rich, calming and let’s you gather your senses.
The considerate pace continues as we ease into ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’, Kennedy carries you safely through the track, Slash’s solo is soothing and orchestral like. Sidoris gives depth to a track that has been composed with thought and a collection of incredible abilities.
‘Spirt Love’ the intro gives a gentle nod of respect to the Sitar, before building and adopting a dirty stoner vibe. Kennedy stretches the vocal chords as Fitz and Kerns power the track forward, Slash’s solo sounds like two solos entwined together, it’s a fantastic noise.
Next we’re treated to ‘Fill My World’ a full on 80’s style stadium power ballad. Close your eyes and picture the crowd swaying, lighters aloft and singing along. Slash’s solo and Kennedy’s voice complement the essence of the track perfectly.
April Fool’ a fast riff intro drags the drums in. A clever mix of tempo’s punctuated by small pauses segments this song into a book of short stories in different writing styles. Genius.
The most recent single is next ‘Call Off The Dogs’ is a ‘Shred Fest’, Motorhead speed, pounding drums and bass, it feels like you’re being chased by a pack of hounds. Slash’s solo tramples over everything in it’s path. You almost forget to breathe.
The final track is ‘Fall Back To Earth’ a 6:23 minute epic. It takes you along a journey full of speed changes, the band toy with your emotions and senses, every note is played or sung with meaning and passion. Slash’s solo creates that ‘shiver’ we all love. And then it’s finished. I want to hear more.
‘4’ is album that incorporates different styles, it’s real, it’s been recorded in ‘the moment’, something that only musicians with great understanding and ability can produce, with the support of the studio team, we have been given a great album.
Gibson Records you have set the bar very high with your first release, let’s hope this is the sign of things to come.
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators are about to hit the road in the U.S. I for one hope it’s not too long before they’re here in the UK, and I can see some of these tracks performed live.
Following is the tracklisting for 4:1. “The River is Rising”
2. “Whatever Gets You By”
3. “C’est La Vie”
4. “The Path Less Followed”
5. “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”
6. “Spirit Love”
7. “Fill My World”
8. “April Fool”
9. “Call Off the Dogs”
10. “Fall Back to Earth”
STREAM/PURCHASE “The River is Rising”: https://slash.lnk.to/TheRiverIsRisingID
PRE-ORDER ‘4’ : https://slash.lnk.to/4AlbumID
Subscribe to Slash on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/slash
Like Slash on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slash
Follow Slash on Twitter: https://twitter.com/slash
Follow Slash on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slash
Listen to Slash on Spotify: http://spoti.fi/1ifzOIs
Listen to Slash on Apple Music: https://apple.co/2ubMgbc