The musicians that made up one of America’s greatest rock bands of all time, Guns N’ Roses, have had problems finding their way after that band fell apart. Each of them has tried solo acts with varying degrees of success. Axl Rose, maintaining ownership of the band’s name, has even attempted a new album and tour with new musicians. The album that Rose crafted took many years to complete and it ended up being mediocre. Slash’s first attempt at creating a new band with some of his GN’R band mates was Slash’s Snakepit. The music featured Slash’s razor-sharp riffs, but it lacked the heart of GN’R at their best. Slash’s second attempt at building something with his GN’R buddies was a new band that featured Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots on vocals. While the lead singer of an alternative rock band doesn’t seem to make sense fronting a classic hard rock band, it really worked for the debut album. The music was truly modernized hard rock. After that fantastic release the follow up, with a different singer, was weak.
Eventually Slash decided to hit up some of his buddies, who happen to be some of the best artists in the music business, to work with him on an album. The result was an album simply titled Slash and it featured a huge range of singers and musicians from Ozzy to Fergie. Myles Kennedy from the band Alter Bridge sang and co-wrote a few songs on that release. The two of them must have hit it off because this follow up album titled Apocalyptic Love only features Kennedy on vocals and co-writing music.
The 13-song album the two musicians have crafted hovers somewhere between Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith, which isn’t necessarily a bad place to be. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t see some variation on Slash’s bluesy riff style. There’s a little Spanish riffing in one tune and some classical scaling too, most notable in the song “Anastasia.” Myles Kennedy also helps the music harken back to good ol’ GN’R as he belts out lyrics in that higher register space where Axl also stays. Kennedy has a more bluesy feel to his delivery than Axl though and that seems to bring out some straight ahead blues vibes to several of the songs in a way that the band might not have hit on back in the day. The Rolling Stones vibe of GN’R, however, isn’t as prevalent here, possibly due to no Izzy on rhythm guitar.
Apocalyptic Love has a lot to offer to fans of classic hard rock and more, particularly those who like GN’R's Appetite for Destruction, but as good as it is it’s just shy of great. The blusey songs feel a little stock and several songs on the album feel as though they are about to blow up but they just never quit do. So yes overall it’s just an ok album, but a few of the songs do strike the right balance of classic Aerosmith-y blues and GN’R nastiness to be truly amazing. If you’re a fan of Slash’s music overall then get this album, it’s a good listen. If you’re looking to recapture that GN’R sound and feel scan, the album on MP3 and grab a few of the songs and you’ll find what you’re looking for.
*The CD is currently on sale for $9.99; the MP3 Download is on sale for $2.99. Browse all 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each in MP3, as well as several MP3 albums on sale this week for only $2.99.