Slash. The name alone is enough to psych me up. It conjures up images of long hair framing sunglasses, top hats, and Gibson Les Paul guitars. As soon as his name hits my ear drums my legs involuntarily move into the power stance, an air guitar materializes into my hands, and I am prepared for some truly bitching riffs to assault my ears. Throughout my life Slash has delivered riff after tasty riff. I affectionately call him “The Lord Of The Riffs.”
Guns n Roses is a permanent fixture in my music collection. The classic GnR songs still amp me up and keep me rocking. Slash’s riffs and solos on songs like Sweet Child Of Mine, Rocket Queen and November Rain have stuck with me for years after I first heard them. While never lucky enough to see the classic GnR lineups of my youth, I am blessed to live in Portland, Oregon home to Appetite for Deception, a truly world class tribute to the GnR of my youth. They are a constant reminder of the power of the riff in a live performance, how it can unify a crowd, starting with the spark of a crunchy riff and whipping it into an inferno fueled by the power of rock.
While the current GnR lineup flounders under the diva douche-baggery of Axl Rose, Slash has gone on to write and record some truly awesome music. His self titled 2010 album Slash was a great follow up to the awkwardness that was Velvet Revolver. Performing with different vocalists on almost every track Slash proved that he was still here to lay down some tasty riffs.
Earlier this year (2012) Slash released Apocalyptic Love, and I haven’t stopped listening to it. Featuring the vocals of Myles Kennedy on every track this album is fantastic from start to finish. The first single You’re A Lie demonstrates that the power of the riff lives on in 2012. There are so many great tracks on this album. Shots Fired is one my favorites. It’s got a powerful opening riff, well written rock structure, and gives me the feeling that no stereo will ever be loud enough for this album. Other tracks like Carolina (a bonus track), Standing In The Sun, and Hard & Fast continue to deliver great riffs, solos and rock sensibility. Far and Away, the rock ballad from the album, completes the spectrum of rock heard on this album.
I think Apocalyptic Love is the best rock album so far in 2012. It delivers everything that a rock album should. It’s modern, but builds on all the best parts of the rock from the late 80s and early 90s when solos still existed. It comes highly recommended for all those that love rock, love riffs, love power stances and air guitars, and love The Lord of the Riffs, Slash.