Tesla – Simplicity (Album Review)

tesla slide - Tesla - Simplicity (Album Review)

Tesla – Simplicity (Album Review)

Tesla - Tesla - Simplicity (Album Review)

Tesla have been around now since 1982, a long time in Rock n’ Roll years, when fifteen year old guitarist and keyboard player Frank Hannon and twenty year old Brian Wheat started the band. The band split briefly in 1996, but re-formed again in 2000. While  Jeff Keith has held the role of lead vocalist since the start and Troy Luccketta has remained in the drum stool, guitarist Dave Rude is fairly new to the band, joining in 2006. This is their 10th studio offering. They have had some highs and lows in their career, with the burning down of their studio in 2010 being one of the lowest points. A 1980s hair metal band, they never made the jump to being a huge name, but have a strong and loyal following who will love this new offering, titled Simplicity.

It would be easy to list this as yet another 1980s band stuck in a time warp, re-living the past.  Listen again though, and you will realize that there is something more here. For a start, it’s damn catchy. They have managed to create an album that still captures their memorable ’80s style, while also taking it somewhere new and exciting.

MP3″ kick starts the album, lamenting on how technology has taken over our lives. While lyrically, it is grumpy old man-ish, but sound wise, it is young and vibrant. Jeff Keith’s vocal style takes some getting used to, but it works, and after a few listens, his voice infects the listener. “Ricochet” is fast and exuberant, but the slow break in the middle is a welcome chance to take a breath. Strange and haunting, “Rise and Fall” is a darker song with a delicious guitar break. “So Divine” is a song about loss, passionate and heartrending. Very The Quireboys in style, “Cross My Heart” is a barroom, honky-tonk party. A fun tune, honest and light, this one is basically about remaining faithful while on tour. “Honestly” is gentler and sadder, despairing almost of the world. It contrasts well with the lighter tone of “Flip Side”. A look at the ‘dualities in life’, this song is a riot, with an addictive, high energy. A song of unrequited love, “Other Than Me” brings you back down, an emotional song about being stuck in the “friendzone”. Fierce and frenzied, “Break of Dawn” thunders in with a strong drum beat and a teenage attitude. With its bittersweet message, “Burnout to Fade” has more delicate refrains and a bluesy country feel, although it still really rocks in the chorus, on its way to becoming a timeless classic. “Life is a River” comes from a more adult viewpoint, soulful and melodic. The bass hooks you into “Sympathy” with a heavier, meatier sound, followed by “Time Bomb” which continues in the same vein. A rebellious chant, the bass is sublime and drives the track. Semi-acoustic, “‘ Till that Day? closes the album. As the song plays, we can imagine lighters in the air, the crowd swaying side to side and grinning from ear to ear until the last chord is strummed.

Fourteen tracks are good value for the money, and there is a great variety of music within them. This is a solid album from a band that may have been overlooked unfairly. Give Simplicity a few listens and approach it with an open mind because there is fun to be had here. The skills of the musicians and song writing carry this album beyond its 1980s feel so take a journey, it is well worth the ride.  CrypticRock gives Tesla’s Simplicity album 4 out of 5 stars.

tesla simplicity cover - Tesla - Simplicity (Album Review)

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Lisa Nash
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Lisa has been involved in the music business since 1992, from agent to manager, promoter to festival organizer, her passion for music and her wealth of knowledge has led to her being a well respected professional on the English music scene. Her writing career began as a favor for Midlands Rocks, and she has reviewed both recorded and live music over the years, as well as interviewing bands such as Seether and Three Doors Down. These days, she mainly focuses on being involved in the running of a number of music festivals and also helping 1000's of musicians through a forum designed to give advice and warn people about known music scams. Preferring Rock and Metal, her taste also varies to Opera, Country, and Classical. Lisa is very supportive of the unsigned, independent bands and strongly believes that the talent is out there in the live scene and not to be found on Saturday Night TV.

  • Avatar
    kimy bigjuicy
    Posted at 17:59h, 22 September Reply

    Love this band called Tesla, you guys kick ass!!!

  • Avatar
    Sherry Windsor
    Posted at 21:50h, 23 September Reply

    I’m a long time fan of Tesla! Love this band! I discovered them around 1987!

  • Avatar
    Gary Mulvaney
    Posted at 10:13h, 24 September Reply

    Been enjoying This kick ass Rock band since they were City Kid. There song writing and musicianship are honed.and skilled. The true gauge of success in the music industry is longevity. They have sold over 19 million records world wide and don’t ever hold anything back in any live show.QUITE SIMPLY TESLA FUCKING ROCKS!

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