Slash - Living The Dream
By Eric Mackinnon
The pairing of Slash with Myles Kennedy is as sweet a combination for my eardrums as the tandem partnership of Hulk Hogan and Mean Gene Okerlund was as a wide-eyed nipper.
While in my youth I hung on every word Mean Gene and the Hulkster said in their WWF wrestling pomp, the tag-team partnership of Slash and Myles has the same effect.
A hat-trick of albums deep as a musical partnership - five if you include Myles' contributions to Slash's 2010 solo album where he welcomed a glittering rock n' roll A-List of guest vocalists to perform - and the pair show no sign of taking their Converse All Stars off the metal.
'Living The Dream' dropped more than a few months ago but with the top-hatted titan, the ayatollah of rock n' rolla, due to cross the Atlantic for our musical pleasure just next month I thought it was a fitting time to post my review.
I've written before that Slash belongs to the very rare breed of musician that if you were to hear just two or three notes it would be instantly recognisable as his work.
Riffs dripping and oozing in bluesy, greasy melodies, Slash plays the most technical of chord combinations and riffs almost effortlessly and with remarkable fluidity yet always being unmistakably recognisable.
'Living The Dream' is no different but there are nods in style and the pace of his fingers dancing up the fretboard to the likes of AC/DC in 'Mind Your Manners' and even more than a hint of classic Pearl Jam in his 'Slow Grind' intro
'Driving Rain' is drenched in radio friendly vibes and will be a live favourite I expect and one which will be on rock radio playlists around Planet Rock with all the famous bluesey swagger Slash has made his reputation from.
With Kennedy on mic duties the album packs a mighty musical punch and he must surely rank near the top of the genre's best vocalists. For his range and delivery and also for the amount of emotion he can inject into every word.
Never more so than on 'The One You Loved Is Gone' which is probably my favourite on the album. Kennedy is simply a master at wringing every ounce of emotion out of his lyrics and into the ears - and souls - of the listeners.
'The Great Pretender' sees Slash channel his 1991 chord combinations where he links with Myles in the style he did with Axl on the Illusion-era ballads like 'Don't Cry.' It is a heart wrenching ballad and another high spot.
The album was reportedly penned, rehearsed and recorded in between Slash's role in the monstrously successful, and time consuming, Guns N' Roses Not In This Lifetime Tour, and it shows his commitment to his solo venture and to Myles and the Conspirators is unbroken.
And for that we are grateful and fortunate. Slash we salute you, we adore you and we are forever in your debt.
He is probably the busiest musician in the world. He is a man who doesn't do downtime. In addition to juggling the GNR juggernaut with writing and recording AND touring with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, our guitar hero has also dabbled with producing horror movies.
He is one-man whirlwind, an unstoppable rock n' roll tsunami. A Sunset Strip swaggering, global conquering, generation defining, guitarist who with unerring accuracy and regulatory still to this day plugs in his amp and unleashes up to a three hour set of rock n' roll royalty on a sell-out crowds across Mother Earth.
Slash we can never thank you enough for your generation moulding magic on your trusty Les Paul.