Slash's Snakepit

Appetite for Destruction Slash's Snakepit - It's Five O'clock Somewhere (Geffen) 1995

1. "Neither Can I" (6:42)
2. "Dime Store Rock" (4:53)
3. "Beggars and Hangers-On" (6:14)
4. "Good to be Alive" (4:50)
5. "What do You Want to Be" (6:16)
6. "Monkey Chow" (4:11)
7. "Soma City Ward" (3:49)
8. "Jizz da Pit" (2:47)
9. "Lower" (4:54)
10. "Take It Away" (4:43)
11. "Doin' Fine" (4:16)
12. "Be the Ball" (5:!5)
13. "I Hate Everybody (But You)" (4:40)
14. "Back and Forth Again" (5:55)

Bluesy hard rock that has it's roots in the Guns n' Roses school of L.A. rock 'n roll. I can't see why any longtime GnR fan would have been disappointed with this release. From track one, Slash let's loose an assault of bluesy guitar solos and raunchy rock n roll songs that was actually better than what I had expected. I have read that some of these tracks were meant for GnR releases but either were not used or were flat out rejected by 'ol Axl. I guess it's hard to hear when you have you own head shoved up your...uh, nevermind. However, in reality, songs like "Dime Store Rock" would have been just that much better with Axl's shriek behind it. Eric Dover is certainly a competent vocalist and does a fine job here, but the fact is that Axl has a charm and charisma on vinyl that is hard to duplicate. Regardless, Slash's Snakepit is an enjoyable CD, and one of my favorite Gunner solo discs. Slash's band this time 'round was Gilby Clarke, rhythm guitars; Mike Inez, bass; Matt Sorum, drums; Dizzy Reed, keyboards; and vocalist Eric Dover.

Slash's Snakepit - Ain't Life Grand (Koch Records) 2000

1. "Been There Lately" (4:27)
2. "Just Like Anything" (4:23)
3. "Shine" (5:20)
4. "Mean Bone" (4:40)
5. "Back to the Moment" (5:33)
6. "Life's Sweet Drug" (3:53)
7. "Serial Killer" (6:18)
8. "The Truth" (5:17)
9. "Landslide" (5:29)
10. "Ain't Life Grand" (4:53)
11. "Speed Parade" (3:52)
12. "The Alien" (4:26)

Second solid CD in a row for 'ol Slash, who is the only ex-Gunner who has put out anything of any substance after GnR. "Ain't Life Grand" is a bit more raw than "It's Five O'clock Somewhere" but still does not really stray into the modern rock formulas. Instead, Slash sticks to what he knows best, pure, unadulterated rock 'n roll with an Aerosmith "Rocks" flare. Not unlike the Boston badboys, Slash adds a bit of groove and funk into the raunchy r-n-r mix. Opening tracks "Been There Lately" and "Just Like Anything" in particular are heavy numbers that incorporate a bit of groove into the mix. Most of the songs, however, are more straightforward hard rockers, like "Speed Parade" and "Landslide". As with most of the tracks, "Landslide" features some rippin' guitar leads. Vocalist Rod Jackson has a raw, gritty blues voice that works well with this type of music. I think his voice sounds especially good on the ballad "Back to the Moment" and the barroom-romp blues of "Ain't Life Grand." Overall, perhaps not an earthshattering, world changing release, but certainly a good rockin' album that will see frequent visits to my CD player.

Slash Slash (Dik Hayd Records) 2010

1.      Ghost (w/ Ian Astbury) (3:35)
2.      Crucify the Dead (w/ Ozzy Osbourne) (4:04)
3.      Beautiful Dangerous (w/ Fergie) (4:38)
4.      Back from Cali (w/ Myles Kennedy) (3:37)
5.      Promise (w/ Chris Cornell) (4:40)
6.      By the Sword (w/ Andrew Stockdale) (4:52)
7.      Gotten (w/ Adam Levine) (5:02)
8.      Doctor Alibi (w/ Lemmy Kilmister) (3:09)
9.      Watch This [instrumental] (w/ Dave Grohl & Duff McKagan) (3:47)
10.     I Hold On (w/ Kid Rock) (4:16)
11.     Nothing to Say (w/ M. Shadows) (5:26)
12.     Starlight (w/ Myles Kennedy) (5:26)
13.     Saint Is A Sinner Too (w/ Rocco DeLuca) (3:28)
14.     We're All Gonna Die (w/ Iggy Pop) (4:33)

Guns 'n' Roses "Appetite for Destruction" was a monumental album and solidified guitarist Slash as a guitar legend. Since GnR's well-publicised break-up, Slash has been involved in multiple different project including his own Slash's Snakepit and the very popular Velvet Revolver w/ other former Guns musicians and Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland. While I personally liked Guns 'n' Roses and Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver did nothing for me, mostly because I am not a fan of Scott Weiland's vocals. As with the fall of Guns, Velvet Revolver collapsed under the pressure and preening ego of their lead singer. As well as his main project, Slash has been a guest on various other projects, including Michael Jackson, among others.

With Slash's 2010 solo album he brought in a bunch of guest vocalist in what looks like an attempt to please fans of just about every genre of modern music. Perhaps by inviting people like Adam Levine (Maroon 5) and Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) to sing, Slash is trying to break down music walls and transcend genre definitions. The guest stars include well known celebrities such as Fregie, Ian Astbury, Ozzy, Kid Rock and every member of Guns 'n' Roses except for resident ego-maniac Axl Rose. With the exception of the former Guns 'n' Roses members, most of these names mean very little to me as I am not a fan of pop music. Regardless, I gave the disc several spins looking for an entertaining hard rock album.

Unfortunately, the album isn't really all that interesting, unless you happen to be a fan of modern pop rock. The album seems to be aimed at those who would shy away from the aggressiveness of old Guns 'n' Roses. However, even for a modern pop rock album what seems to be sorely missing is memorable songs. The album quickly fades into the background each time I have played it and nothing really stands out until around track eight when Lemmy Kilmister's (Motorhead) familiar voice peaks my interest. The song sounds like something Velvet Revolver might have recorded. "Nothing to Say" has a nice groove to it with an aggressive, chugging heavy metal riff. However, the song is mostly mundane and lacking hooks despite a spirited vocal performance by Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows. Perhaps the worst experiment here is "Beautiful Dangerous" with Fergie, which has the pop diva moaning throughout, but the track ends up sounding like a pop star’s incredibly lame idea of hard rock. The opening moments of the song reminded me of old Donna Summer. Overall, however, this the type of drivel seen on American Idol. Pass!

The album's best track doesn't have any vocals. The instrumental with Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and former Gunner Duff McKagan is the standout cut on the album. It is the one song that really grabs my attention. As such, I wish there were more of this. Perhaps Slash needs to put out an instrumental jam album. Now that would be interesting!

What I really wish is that Axl, Slash and the whole GnR crew would get their heads out of the butts, drop the egos, and bury the hatchet. Much like the Aerosmith reunion in the 80's, Guns 'n' Roses might actually have something more to offer the world.

Related Collections:
Duff | Guns n' Roses | Izzy Stradlin

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