When it comes to classic rock guitar, there are few musicians who outshine, out-play or out-cool Saul Hudson. Better known to the public as Slash, he has been involved in a number of musical collaborations since his departure from the groundbreaking Guns N’ Roses in 1994 and has created some of the best known and well-loved riffs in the whole of rock and roll history. His most recent project, entitled Apocalyptic Love, alongside vocalist Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, is nothing short of vintage Slash and proves that his new centre-stage companion deserves far more than a career in the shadows of Axl Rose.
The opening and title track of the album immediately confirm that the record will be a fine display of his signature: bluesy chords. With extensive and gritty guitar solos undercut by a repetitive bass line, it is reminiscent of 80’s heavy rock, but with a more clean-cut and polished finish. The element, which stands out most clearly though, is the way in which the trio of artists he has recorded with gel so smoothly together. You’re A Lie, the first single to be taken from the album, is a perfect example of this. It is a layered blend of snarling vocals and aggro-fuelled instrumentals which, when combined, create an anthemic number, perfectly fitting for an arena setting.
Although it would have been easy for the rock veteran to take the simple option of producing an album solely in this vein, he veers off from the norm on a couple of occasions with great success. The part-acoustic, Anastasia, displays Myles’ impressive vocal range, while the soothing ballad of Far and Away shows that soft rock comes naturally to the quartet too. Although none of the songs boast much lyrical integrity (“they wanna see me I am not so great, but still I am here to die another day”), you would be forgiven as a listener for being too wrapped up in the melodies to really pay much attention. Coming to a close with the fast-paced and cathartic, Shots Fired, you can’t help but feel that Apocalyptic Love is, more than anything, just a well-executed celebration of the power of authentic rock and roll.
Standout tracks: You’re A Lie and No More Heroes
For Fans of: Velvet Revolver, Black Stone Cherry, Aerosmith
Written by: Lauren Macready