SLASH FT MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS – Living The Dream
Released: September 21st, 2018
Myles Kennedy| Vocals
Todd Kerns| Bass & Vocals
Brent Fitz| Drums
Frank Sidoris| Guitars
Living The Dream is Slash’s fourth solo album, third with Slash FT Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. A lot of the ideas for the songs originated whilst on the road, but were stalled due to Guns N’ Roses commitments, only to be re-visited a few years later, when Slash purchased a rehearsal space, which he has likened to a “small house” and built a studio – Snakepit Studios (II), after selling the original Snakepit Studios to Billy Bob Thornton.
At first listen to ‘Call of The Wild’, I mistakenly thought the track was buffering, as the guitar cuts in and out. Only to learn it was the intro to a fun, up-beat track.
‘Serve You Right’ brings back that Dirty Rock’n’Roll feel Slash is renowned for. Some groovy shredding on this track, while Myles is wanting to “serve you right”. A song you could really get down ‘n dirty to, if you’re that way inclined.
‘My Antidote’ has some nice chunky riffs and drum pounding, that have an almost tribal feel to them, accompanied by Myles’ melodic mantra to open. This song takes the listener on a journey. I was definitely down for the ride.
‘Mind Your Manners’ gives me a bluesy feel, interspersed with Slash’s signature power chords and screeching solo’s. Some interesting drum patterns and Myles voice complimenting the harmony.
A song of forbidden fruit, ‘Lost Inside The Girl’ tells of an unrequited devotion. The song all the girls will listen to and romanticise about someone feeling such adoration for them and possibly a song many of the guys can relate to. Slash’s solo’s and technique are much more memorable in this track, while Myles vocal scope varies from low to high throughout. Exactly what I’d been waiting for. Despite it being a slower song, this one is my favourite, for the technical range, musically and vocally.
Unfortunately, the following two tracks ‘Read Between the Lines’ and ‘Slow Grind’ didn’t have anything stand out for me. They weren’t unpleasant by any means, they just didn’t grab me and sounded re-used. If an album has fillers, these two tracks are it.
‘The One You Loved Is Gone’, another slower track, with a very poignant message. I enjoyed the ballad and found the track quite evoking. Slash’s guitar adding to the telling of the story, which is what I look for in a song.
I’m not sure if coincidence, or cleverly deliberate, ‘Driving Rain’ seems to be a progression, or at least linked to ‘Standing in The Sun’, from Apocalyptic Love. The lyrics appear to be paraphrased and the intro music to ‘Standing in The Sun’, recycled in the bridge of ‘Driving Rain’. I see what you did there, guys!
Picking the pace up again, with some technical riffs that we associate with Slash, accompanied by catchy drum beats, is ‘Sugar Cane’. Myles continuing with the high vocals. As much as I admire his vocal ability, I wish he’d used more range on this album, we all know he is more than capable.
‘The Great Pretender’ is jam packed with build ups and some of the most amazing blues guitar on the album, very reminiscent of Gary Moore. As much as I enjoyed it, I wanted more from it and I just wasn’t finding it.
Some really cool finger picking in ‘Boulevard of Broken Hearts’, but a much too polished sound for my liking and a repetition of Myles high vocals.
In summary, this is not the worst album I’ve heard, but it certainly isn’t the greatest. The progression from World on Fire was evident. However, it is very restrained and lacklustre. I wanted to hear more of that diversity, more of the catchy hooks, similar to what Apocalyptic Love incorporated. I held on and even with the threat of some intense build ups, there was just no climax for me.
It’s no secret that Slash and Myles make a great team, I just wish they gave it a little more oomph. I had to grab on to the slower songs, to compensate for the lack of attention grabbing rock n roll, that I couldn’t seem to find. I’m certain Slash and Myles fans will enjoy it, as certain as I am there will be some disgruntled fans.
Living The Dream track listing:
- The Call Of The Wild
- Serve You Right
- My Antidote
- Mind Your Manners
- Lost Inside the Girl
- Read Between the Lines
- Slow Grind
- The One You Love Is Gone
- Driving Rain
- Sugar Cane
- The Great Pretender
- Boulevard of Broken Hearts
Rating: 6 ½ out of 10
Living the Dream is Out September 21st 2018 via Slash’s own label SNAKEPIT RECORDS in partnership with SONY MUSIC AUSTRALIA.
Pre-order Living The Dream here
Review By – Trudy Johnson
PHOTO CREDIT: GENE KIRKLAND