“I came for Slash, not fucking Fergie!”

I haven’t done this in a while, so let’s just jump right into it!

Slash sure has had a storied career, hasn’t he?  After having been in bands with Axl Rose AND Scott Weiland he can say he’s survived working with the two most whacked out bipolar lead singers in rock music.  He’s nowhere near guitar virtuosos like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, but if you’ve read his biography or heard him on radio shows he seems like a cool down to earth guy.  So you dig it when you see him in Guitar Hero or he shows up on some random talk show.  There’s no real logic or reason, you’re just happy to see the guy getting work.

And now he’s got his first solo album out, appropriately titled Slash.  Originally this was gonna be called Slash & Friends, which I feel is a more appropriate title, because Slash is going the Carlos Santana route by having a different singer on each song since the chap can’t do it himself.  Which means like the album Supernatural we’re gonna have a lot of fitting combos and a lot of flashes-in-the-pan to move units.

He goes from bipolar singers to a schizophrenic album.  Dude is running the whole mental disorder gamut with his career.

So we start things off with “Ghost” fronted by Cult lead singer Ian Astbury,  a crazy singer who got paid to replace king-of-crazy-singers Jim Morrison in the 21st Century Doors.  Slash sure attracts the loonies.  Slash works this appegiated riff most of the song and the rhythm has a solid strut and groove.  Solid opener.  Short, straight, to the point.

I know I made a Santana comparison, and “Crucify the Dead” has a similar feeling riff.  The Ozzman is the singer for this one, so it sounds a lot like one of his solo songs, but Slash sneaks in some pretty bluesy yet epic sounding riffs in this one.  Alright, we’re stretching out a bit!  This should be interesting.

Hoo boy, spoke too soon.  “Beautiful Dangerous” is sung by Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas.  Because when I think of bad ass rock n’roll, I think of Fergie!  This is the part of the album I was worried about.  She starts off the song with rambling baby talk and it all goes downhill from there.  Fergie continues the proud tradition of Black Eyed Peas tradition of singing non-sensical stupid lyrics that make no sense with her baby voiced singing style.  Seriously, I can’t make out one fucking word she sings in this song.  The riffs wouldn’t be out of place a strip club so let the strippers have it.

“Back From Cali” features Mayfield Four/Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy a few Alter Bridge songs, mostly because Kennedy’s a good dependable singer.  But this track feels a bit aimless and I don’t know what to make of it.  Kennedy is touring with Slash behind this record and I think he’s a good choice though.  How he’s gonna pull off the Fergie song I don’t know though.  I doubt he’d OR Slash would look good in hot pants.

Alright, “Promise” features Chris Cornell, one of my favorite singers.  I’m kinda sad this song isn’t in Drop D like his Soundgarden classics, instead it has the folksy moods Audioslave found themselves indulging in during their later records.  Not a bad song though.  If Cornell doesn’t fuck up the Soundgarden reunion I may just forgive him for releasing Scream.

Oh holy christ, “By The Sword” has Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother (though since he’s the only original member now shouldn’t it just be the Andrew Stockdale Experience or something?).  If some of these song summaries sound like criticisms of the singers and not Slash himself I apologize, but since Slash isn’t singing I’m assuming he’s not writing lyrics either, so songs take on some of the personality of the singer singing them.  This is the first song where I don’t feel any of Slash’s presence at all.  It’s just Stockdale’s faux 70’s fantasy prog rock bullshit, which he busts out to mimic better bands rather than contribute his own ideas.  Just write about swords and sorcery with some fuzzboxes and you’ll have 20 something hipsters feeling nostalgia for a decade they were too young to experience in the first place.

It gets worse because the next song “Gotten” features Adam Levine from Maroon 5.  Because when I think of bad ass rock and roll, I think of Maroon 5!  This song is the tender love ballad with the acoustic guitars and swelling strings.  Y’know I actually like R&B, but I’ve never bought Adam Levine as some smooth sex machine all the ladies want.  Skinny dudes like Prince are considered sexy because Prince has an intensity and mystique that makes him alluring.  Adam Levine has all the intensity of a wet worm.

Hell fucking yes, Lemmy sings “Dr. Alibi”.  This is more like it.  This song roars and screams to life and feels like we’re back on track.  You don’t want Slash hanging out with limp dicks like Adam Levine, you want him hanging with grizzled bastards like Lemmy who bark more than they sing.  Of course Lemmy is god so he brings his A-game to this song.

“Watch This” isn’t a song per se, but an instrumental track between Dave Grohl on drums and Slash’s old GNR bandmate Duff McKagen on bass.  Slash basically noodles menacingly over their established beat for four minutes and it sounds pretty bad ass.  Why wasn’t the whole album just tracks like this?  By having a different singer for every track it becomes more of a showcase for them rather than Slash.  Slash says more as a musician in four minutes than he has on the last four songs.  We came for you Slash!  Not fucking Fergie!

“I Hold On” features Kid Rock trying to sing, which as you know is worse than hearing him try to rap.  Much like how I don’t buy Adam Levine being sexy, I don’t buy Kid Rock being sensitive.  Or talented.  Or capable of basic arithmetic.

“Nothing to Say” has a bad ass enough riff and Slash’s playing fits well enough over it.  This song is sung by M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold.  I usually don’t have many kinds words for A7X, but after Kid Rock I’ll take it.  At least Growly McScowlerson has the right idea.

“Starlight” is the second Myles Kennedy song and it’s another ballad.  Why are all these people making Slash go sensitive?  Slash’s playing is at it’s best when it’s being menacing and badass.  It’d be like Jack Bauer asking the terrorist politely where the nukes are.  “Now Achmed I’ve been very reasonable but you’ve been nothing but rude and unhelpful.  Al Qaeda will be getting a strongly worded letter from me after this.”

“Saint is a Sinner Too” is sung by Rocco DeLuca, and he’s the only singer where I didn’t know who the fuck he was.  As if I haven’t had enough ballads at this point, this one is mostly acoustic guitars and a fucking Wurlitzer.  Rocco’s vocals sound like James Blunt singing over an Enrico Morone soundtrack.

Oh Iggy Pop, thank god you’re here for “We’re All Gonna Die”.  If we can take half the singers on this fucking thing with us I’d be okay with that.  I know I’ve been making jokes about Slash teaming up with crazy singers but in the case of the good Mr. Pop I’ll take it.  This song actually has some grind and some “umph”, something sorely lacking in the previous songs and a good way to close out.

Final impressions?  I gotta ask, why wasn’t this just a Slash instrumental album?  I know he’s gotta make commercial concessions in order to get this stuff out on the market, but if you faff about with multiple singers like Santana did the musician’s personality gets lost in the mix.  Guys like Ozzy, Lemmy, and Iggy are great fits, but when you emphasis twats like Adam Levine it feels like you’re cutting the man’s balls off.

It’s good to see Slash going solo and I hope he does it again soon.  But I want to see him.  Not fucking Fergie!

My rating? Not very good.

Share on Tumblr

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera