Sound — 9
Fronted by the man himself, Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators make a formidable rock band. Their first album as a solid unit, "Apocalyptic Love" is one for the rock history books. The sound is unmistakably Slash, with the Velvet Revolver-style powerchording and Slash's scratchy, bluesy pentatonic solos and riffs make it obvious that Slash definitely fronts this band. Everything else comes second (after all, it is his second solo record). The guitar sound is warm and deep (like something else we all love), and the overdrive is just right; early-eighties rock with slightly more distortion through the solos. The guitar solos, whilst being great, are more of the same pentatonic mega-bends and blistering legato speed lines. Great if you're a fan of them, but if like me, all you do it listen to Slash records you can pretty much tell what's happening next. The album wouldn't sound very good without vocals, a rhythm guitar, bass and drums however. And Slash has recruited just the guys for the job. Myles Kennedy's vocals are smooth and melodic, with an old bluesy feel to them (imagine "Mr. Brownstone" and you'll have an idea of the sound). The problem for me was that in the third track, "You're A Lie" Myles lets out this awesome, Grohl-style scream in the chorus, and I was disappointed that there wasn't more of it. He also lays down simple but effective rhythm guitar, often stepping up to harmonize riffs with the master himself. The bass guitar is solid, and Todd Kerns is clearly a rock bassist. His bass licks lock tightly with Myles' guitar and the drums. Not much decoration though, I must say. Not quite in the ranks of Duff MacKagan, or Flea, but then again, this is the bands' first record as a solid unit. The drums are warm and tight (once again, tee-hee) and drummer Brent Fitz is becoming legendary thanks to his recent history with Slash, (mind you, playing with Alice Cooper didn't hurt much either). However the drums are rather concrete. I'd have liked to have heard more advanced fills. Don't worry, they're definitely more interesting than AC/DC's.
Lyrics — 7
Myles Kennedy was left in charge of the lyrics, and they aren't too depressing, but they aren't too happy (rock music with happy lyrics?! ). They fit with the style of music, but that's all, and Myles has got down some catchy hooks, such as, "Here it comes, Here it comes, Time to dirty up your halo" (from "Halo") and "I don't care how we do it just as long as we can love under the same sky" (from "Apocalyptic Love"). Myles Kennedy is a brilliant lyricist, up there with Dave Grohl, Axl Rose and Paul Macart- er... Mick Jagger?
Overall Impression — 10
To put it in plain English, this album is better than "Slash". A factor of this could be that there is only one singer, and the style of music is the same throughout, although the variety of "Slash" was somewhat appealing. I can't listen to this album without comparing the powerchord sound to "Libertad" (Velvet Revolver's second record), and the melodic value is similar to Guns N' Roses' "Use Your Illusion 1&2". All very Slash, of course. The thing I would change though, is the drum sound. It's slightly too deep and the snare is soft. Not just on this record, but whenever Brent Fitz plays live his snare drum sounds soft. Oh, and I would've turned up the rhythm guitar a tad. If it were stolen, I'd buy two more copies, just to be one-up on the burglar. Thinks he's a Slash fan does he?