Originally posted on Wednesday, 20 March 2013
This day in age, most rock legends are either dead or novelty acts. If they still make music, very little effort is put in to new music and they just play the same old songs over and over for the fans. Most relevant heroes, if still alive, are rather old and are not in the public eye enough to still be recognized now.
Everything in that last paragraph should be forgotten whenever someone is talking about Slash. Having been making some of the best rock songs for over 25 years now, he still is among the top most recognizable figures in music. Now a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, he still maintains his reputation as the hardest working rock star. Last year, in May of 2012, he released his second solo album Apocalyptic Lovefeaturing Myles Kennedy and “The Conspirators”. This is the 11th album in total that Slash has released over a span of four bands.
Myles Kennedy was an obvious choice to sing on this album. He was the only singer on Slash’s first self titled album to sing on more than one song (the album featured different singers and for the most part different musicians on every track) and toured with Slash on the tour supporting the first album. For those who don’t know Myles, I’m surprised, because Led Zeppelin have not only heard of him, but temporarily had him as their singer when they were considering doing some shows without Robert Plant. He is the front man for alternative rock band Alter Bridge, which with juggling them and Slashmakes him the second busiest guy in the music business.
The album starts off with the title track. It has heavy use of a wah pedal and has a nice intense classic rock feel with Myles singing with a good deal of soul. It isn’t until the second track that the album really takes off though. One Last Thrill comes at you like a punch in the face. A fast, almost punk song that never loses its place, it’s sure to wake its listener up for the rest of the album. The only other song on the album with the pace and drive of this song is the appropriately titledHard & Fast, though this track is more “hard and fast” than it is musical.
The album’s first single is You’re a Lie. This was a well chosen track to be a single. It has a nice heavy guitar riff, and a catchy aggressive chorus. The song is glued together perfectly with its subtle low sung verses that keep the heavy chorus an unexpected surprise. The albums second single is Standing in the Sun, which is your typical mid-tempo hard rocker, with a hell of a chorus and anti-depressing lyrics. The album’s third single, Bad Rain, is not one of the better songs on the album. It has a dirty and sleazy feeling to it which sounds pretty good, but the chorus of the song is a tad annoying, and there really isn’t a hook anywhere in the song. The last single (so far) from the album is probably the best written of songs on the album. Anastasia has an almost Spanish-like influence to its sound. It starts off with an acoustic guitar intro that turns in to a signature Slash electric guitar riff, and one of his best.
No More Heroes has a very nice groove to it. The best part of the track is its guitar riff, but the singing of Myles Kennedy and his very accessible voice make the song a must listen to. The chorus of the song could be a tad better, but the lyrics deliver a good message. Halo is a faster paced hard beating song with nice, clean vocals from Myles, which see him hitting pitches that he doesn’t hit at very many points of this album. We Will Roam starts off with another great riff, which gives the song the feeling of a train chugging down the tracks. The song has a slower pace, but that just adds to its effectiveness.
The album has two slower and more tamed sounding songs. Both songs are two of the better tracks on the album. The first of the two is Not For Me. This track starts off with a simple drum clicking in the background with Slash playing his guitar ever so softly with Myles practically whispering the opening lyrics. After the first chorus it picks up a bit, keeping its slow pace, but the instruments become more than noticeably louder. The second of the slow tracks on the album is Far and Away. This song closer resembles a ballad, with the sound of an early 70’s southern rock song. The song remains softly delivered throughout, the guitars don’t hit a high distortion level and the drums maintain a mellow beat…that is until the last chorus, when, with all the feeling that the band could possible give, they turn up the volume and play their hearts out.
The last song on the album is Shots Fired. This song ends the album off on a heavy note, similar to that of One Last Thrill, only this track sounds darker. It is not easy to verify, but this track is probably the heaviest track on the album.
Two bonus tracks come with the albums deluxe edition. These songs are Carolina and Crazy Life, the former being a display of Slash’s love for his voice box effect. The song isn’t much more than just a slightly sleazy song, it’s only true highlight is its chorus, which is pretty catchy. The same could be said for Crazy Life. It isn’t much more than just a less than significant rock song with a very well played chorus. For the huge Slash fans I’d recommend the deluxe edition, it also comes with a bonus DVD, but for the less than familiar listener, just get the regular edition.
Slash continues to make excellent music. It’s hard to pinpoint anything he has done that isn’t great.Apocalyptic Love is certainly a highlight of his career; I dare say it is up there with Appetite for Destruction and Contraband. It is a truly inspiring classic hard rock sounding album that puts bothSlash and Myles Kennedy in to an obvious level of comfort.
“Anastasia” – Absolutely no other song comes at you the way this one does. It is still as much of a hard rock song as any other song off of this album, but with its Spanish influence and neo-classical guitar riff, it stands out on an album filled with blues-based hard rock songs. It wins any listener over immediately when the riff starts after the acoustic intro. The chorus is very easy to sing along with and Myles Kennedy sings the song as though he is living it.
8.5 (Out of 10)
|“One Last Thrill”||3:09|
|“Standing in the Sun”||4:03|
|“You’re a Lie”||3:50|
|“No More Heroes”||4:23|
|“We Will Roam”||4:49|
|“Not for Me”||5:21|
|“Hard & Fast”||3:02|
|“Far and Away”||5:14|