Slash Thrashes Guitar Once Again

Courtesy of Dick Hayd

Slash is the last of a dying breed, a master guitarist in an age when knowing how to play guitar is no longer a requirement for guitarists. Slash’s latest solo release, “Apocalyptic Love,” does not measure up to his first solo album “Slash,” but it proves to be a thrilling ride. The album features Slash’s solo band Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, and takes us back to an age when music was more about sound than aesthetics. “Apocalyptic Love” reminds us of what rock ‘n’ roll and real guitar playing is all about.

The album is very much about enjoying life and living it the way you want. It kicks off with “Apocalyptic Love,” which exhibits Slash’s signature style of heavy riffs and infectious solos.  The lyrics have a beautiful flow and each line seems to be meant to follow the previous one. Kennedy chants, “This is the last time, / Oh, oh, / Don’t care how we do it, / Just as long as we can love under the same sky, / All we got is tonight.”

The most fun and interesting songs on the album are “One Last Thrill” and “Hard and Fast.” These songs are a mixture between punk rock and rockabilly, and include some of the most seductive guitar playing in the entire album.

The song that most embodies vintage Slash is “Anastasia.” The guitar playing in this song is intoxicating, and it is very reminiscent of songs like “Paradise City” and “Slither.”

The most heartfelt song is “Not For Me.” The song tells a story about the realization of a life lived incorrectly. The beautiful lyrics reassure the fact that Slash and Myles Kennedy are more than just a guitar and vocal chords — their songs carry a personal meaning and message. Kennedy sings, “The devil smiles and laughs at me, / Says you’ll be back, just wait and see, / You know I’ve heard this all before, / And I say, / You can keep your high life in the hills, / Your cocaine lies and whiskey thrills, / I don’t need you anymore.”

Although this album is not Slash’s best work, it doesn’t mean that it is not a great album. In this case, Slash’s talent and remarkable body of work actually works against him. Even though “Apocalyptic Love” is a testament to Slash’s immense musical ability, it does not measure up to his legendary music with Guns N’ Roses — perhaps nothing in music ever will. This is the reason that this amazing record appears to fall short at times.

This being said, “Apocalyptic Love” returns us to real rock ‘n’ roll. It gives us something that is very rare nowadays: beautiful guitar and genuine lyrics. You cannot help but be compelled by this album. It enters through your ears and takes control of your body, it makes you move, it makes you dance. If you care about music at all, you will pick up this record and give it a listen. We must cherish the rare opportunities we get at obtaining good new music because if the current airwaves tell us anything, it is that it may not be around for much longer.

Rating: 4 out of 5