World on Fire
Dik Hayd Records/Universal
Slash is the Bogan Eric Clapton – a handful of truly wonderful guitar moments early on in the career and then a life time of free passes. Endless lifetimes, too, it seems of personality-less, post-addiction dribble/drivel.
In the last half decade we’ve had a couple of live albums – where a handful of Guns N’ Roses songs are buried in a set that features a dozen or more wishful/hopeful G N’ R-lite soundalikes – and a couple of studio albums with the new band. They sound – at best – like the old band, but without the fire.
Roll on (and on) the third wave of Slash’s improbable career as the guitar hero of Generation X. We might not want him (at least, not anymore) – but he’s ours, we’ve got him.
World on Fire has Myles Kennedy sounding less like Axl Rose than he has previously, a good thing – but sounding more like he does when working with his other band, Altar Bridge; a bad thing. Obviously.
There are one or two moments of squall where you can tell it’s the Gunners guy and then there are turgid, insipid, interminable paint-by-numbers rock songs. These are the henna-tat versions of Guns N’ Roses songs at their dullest, most boring. Songs like Stone Blind suggest that no one involved has listened to anything since Slash’s last failed career as part of Velvet Revolver; you know the band that sounded like it wanted to make trim, taut versions of the Use Your Illusion(s) material; songs without charm, songs with only smarm, never mind the pedestrian rhyme(s), these were songs without reason.
Seventeen tracks plod on like the drunk uncle at a 21st climbing up to “shred” with the covers-band called in at the 11th hour.
That’s Slash’s post G N’R (and certainly post-Revolver) career summed up right there. Sad old guy playing the same kind of notes he once thrilled with. None of the impact this time though.
The Bogan Eric Clapton.