What more can you say about the great Saul Hudson, better known as Slash, that hasn’t been said before? The man is arguably the most distinguished guitar player to ever pick-up a Gibson Les Paul, plug into a Marshall amp, and strum away a treasured songbook of Rock-and-Roll.
On the heels of reuniting by the side of Axl Rose and Duff McKagan, grossing nearly 500 million dollars so far on the Not In This Lifetime…Tour, Slash is making time outside of Guns N’ Roses to enrich his rewarding solo career. Dropping the band’s first studio album since 2014’s World on Fire, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators released their third LP, Living the Dream, on Friday, September 21, 2018, via their own label, Snakepit Records, in conjunction with Roadrunner Records.
Slash first teamed with Alter Bridge Vocalist Myles Kennedy when Kennedy appeared on Slash’s eponymous 2010 solo effort, simply titled Slash. A brilliant voice, Kennedy contributed his vocals to the tracks “Back From Cali” and “Starlight,” standing out amongst the best of the best in Rock, from Motörhead’s Lemmy to Ozzy Osbourne, wowing the senses of listeners around the world. As a supporting tour approached, Slash hired Kennedy to front his band, and, to no ones surprise, the shows were killer, and the tour a success. As the duo shared the stage, Slash’s bad-ass guitar style matched well with Kennedy’s emotive vocal range, leaving audiences elated by the singer’s ability to belt out classic Gun N’Roses along with Slash’s solo material.
Gripping the inescapable chemistry, Slash decided to collaborate with Kennedy for his next solo album, joined by Bassist Todd Kerns, and Drummer Brent Fitz, only to start a brand new band dubbed Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. Off to a rocking start, in May of 2012, the guys released their first official album as a band, Apocalyptic Love. Stacked with catchy Rock candy, Apocalyptic Love was met with critical acclaim, as did the aforementioned sophomore album World on Fire.
This time around, at the Living the Dream sessions, Slash and company were once again joined in the studio by renowned Producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette ,who worked with the band on World on Fire, and produced for Alter Bridge many times over. Also taking part in the Rock pageantry was Rhythm Guitarist Frank Sidoris, who previously toured with the band from 2012-2016. At the end of it all, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators crafted fifteen brand new tunes to comprise Living the Dream.
Wishing we could do the same, Living the Dream was introduced to Slash fans back in July upon the release of the album’s first single “Driving Rain.” Backed by colorful album art, Living the Dream is kicked-off by the Rock driven drum-beat and bursting instrumentation of “Call of the Wild,” pondering the path in which our world is headed. Not skipping a beat, “Serve You Right” gives way to a warm Blues rocked feel – think AC/DC Back in Black era – striking the urge to break open a bottle of whiskey. Gifting the type of alluring and cunning melodies that only Slash can provide, Living the Dream rolls on with the resolution of “My Antidote” and the speed infused “Mind Your Manners.”
A stand-out, uptempo ballad, “Lost Inside The Girl,” shows off Slash’s desirable riffing captivated by Kennedy’s entrancing vocal portrayal of lust indulgent lyrics. If there is one thing Slash can do in sheer perfection, it is pen the beautiful melody of a heart-string tugging ballad, exemplified by “The One You Love Is Gone.” In true Rock excellence, Living the Dream contains even more notable tunes including “Sugar Cane” and “The Great Pretender” before culminating via “Boulevard Of Broken Hearts.”
On another level, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators marry the best elements from which both Slash and Kennedy’s respective core bands are designed. Having said that, Living the Dream is yet another prime example of the magic that takes place whenever Slash and Myles Kennedy collide in Rock, as potent guitar riffs meet enamoring vocals. In the end, if you crave a satisfying Rock album that keeps you listening and coming back for more, Living the Dream is one to seek out. Turn up the volume, CrypticRock gives Living the Dream 4 out of 5 stars.