No one embodies the off-the-cuff swagger of rock n’ fucking roll more than Slash. The fuck you attitude to just play music and to look cool while doing it has been the character of the rock legend since the beginning. This album is a testament to that just plug-in-and-play way of life.
Decamping in Nashville to record album 4, the band literally set themselves up in a circle and unloaded what they had as the red light came on.
This loose jam vibe between five very accomplished musicians is a throwback to how rock should be. All swagger, sways and shifts while held in line by a powerful rhythm section.
Opening track The River Is Rising has this dirty groove of sex and attitude that makes your body move before the band ups the tempo to finish the song in a punk rock orgasm.
Time Will Tell has a slower riff that transports you to a lazing day sitting in a bar booth drinking shots, entertaining the girls of the Sunset Strip.
Myles Kennedy is one of rocks most underrated story tellers. His voice oozes emotion in the ballad Fill My World that it’s surprising to know that’s a song about his dog and not a long distance lover. His ability to weave the tapestry of his meaning via words and sounds touches every part of your soul.
The freedom of just tuning in and letting rip is shown with perfection when Slash tears apart Actions Speak Louder Than Words with a incendiary solo, with Slash loving the chance of expression this recording gives.
Slash’s solos are improvised and exciting, going off at tangents yet still sounding as good as any you can recall from his extensive back catalogue. The solo in the mystical Spirit Love attests to that.
By that time you get onto the home straight, it’s refreshing to hear the studio banter between the members. The sleazy riff-tastic April Fool , with another trademark off the cuff Slash solo finishes with a congratulatory ‘fucking great take’ still left on the recording.
The breaking the law car speed chase that is Call Of The Dogs finishes in a crescendo that you can only deliver correctly if everyone is in sync at the same time when playing live. So much so as more studio talk compliments the track ‘nice ending’.
In a age of over produced digital albums, Slash and MKC have gone old school. They just set up and play to their strengths, live and improvised. It’s grooves like the 80’s, it has the attitude of 70’s yet it’s the class of 2022. It’s number 4 for SMKC yet arguably their number 1.
Album Review By Iain McCallum