Posts Tagged ‘Slash’

OK, so here’s an enigma. Given that my entire musical history started with and revolves around former GN’R guitarist Slash – why don’t I have a copy of Slash’s Snakepit’s second album?????

I ask, ‘cause it lead to a few moments at the recent Slash gig in Manchester where I was like “what the hell is this”. I’ve heard the album, but don’t know it and only really know one song off it! Why??? Why have I never bought it? God knows!

So yes, I went to see Slash yet again! I actually planned to go at least twice – possibly three times – buy money and other people ruined my chances! I was on the ball at 9am on ticket preorder day trying my damnedest to get tickets for Manchester and his hometown gig in Stoke. Try as I might for two days, I failed to get Stoke. I did get Manchester though, so I wasn’t too disappointed. But I really wanted to go to Stoke!!!!!!!!!

I was planning on going to the High Voltage festival in London for the day Slash played. 2 reasons really, Slash and Judas Priest. I’ve never seen the Priest before so thought It might be cool to see ’em, given they’re planning on calling it a day soon. As it was, I didn’t go. Skint. I was still gonna see Slash in Manchester though!

As you can tell, I was fairly excited.

So after Sonisphere I had a few weeks off, then a fairly busy week of things happening, culminating in Slash (yaaay) then the Batman Live Arena tour which was a great laugh!

We got to sunny Manchester and parked up outside the Apollo, strolled to the back of the mammoth queue that was getting ever longer and waited it out. After 20 mins of hovering (10 of those minutes past doors time – seriously, why can these places never open the doors on time!!!!!!!!) the queue started moving and we headed in. A quick nose at the merch stall to earmark possible buys and it was upstairs to the bar for some expensive cans of Carlsberg.

Supporting were a band I’d never heard of. Japanese Voyeurs. We stayed at the bar and made the executive decision to not watch them. Ross passed comment that we’d probably end up liking these in the future and they’d likely be headlining Download next year, given the habit of ignoring bands we don’t know and then liking them down the line! Incidentally about 2 days later, I caught an ok poppy rock tune with a cute girl singer and thought “not bad, who are these”. Yeah, it was Japanese Voyeurs. Bugger.

Back to the gig. We downed remaining drinks and headed back down to the main standing zone.

On the way past, I decided to get a Slash ‘Nightrain’ t-shirt that I’d been eyeing up online. It was £25 and I don’t usually spend that much on band tees, but it was cool and it was Slash after all! I asked the girl what the sizes were like. Ya know, the American large is bigger than the UK, and she said they were pretty big, so I asked if I could try a large. “Sorry. XL only.”. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”. I walked away. Disappointed.

…but not for long.

Slash at Manchester Apollo

Slash & Co at Manchester Apollo

Slash was on in a sec, and I was standing there, all excited like a kid on Christmas morning. He came out with Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge and his backing group and blazed straight into… a song I didn’t know!!!!! Picture the scene – Me, very excited to singalong to all my fave songs and “YAAAAAY, SLAAASH….WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?” It was Snakepit tune ‘Been There Lately’.

Fail.

Still, the show was ace. I didn’t cry! I kept my emotions in check. Last time I got a slight emotional when he played ‘The Godfather’ theme. It was something I’d seen him play on videos of GN’R live stuff when I was first getting into the music and Guns, and I never thought I’d hear it played, so it was understandable. That and he went straight into ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’.

Slash

Slash

This time though, I just did the usual, I sang along to every lyric I knew (which was most of them) and when it was solo time, I stood in awe with my mouth open in complete stunned silence and watched. Amazing.

They played Guns N’ Roses classics Nightrain, Civil War, Rocket Queen, and Sweet Child O’ Mine, Velvet Revolver’s Fall To Pieces, Snakepit tracks Mean Bone and Speed Parade, Slash’s solo efforts Ghost, Doctor Alibi (with Todd Kearns on vocals), Nothing to Say, Watch This, Starlight, Back From Cali, By The Sword and Promise, Alter Bridge’s Rise Today and the usual guitar solo/Godfather theme medley. I loved every minute of it.

Unusually, at one point, the top-hatted genius whipped out a Gibson Explorer! A guitar shape I think looks weird on everyone who isn’t James Hetfield or The Edge. He still made it look cool. Prefer the Les Pauls though.

Slash

Slash showing off!

They started the long intro to VR’s ‘Slither’, where they introduce the band and I took this queue to make a break for the front… and a piss. I got down the side of the venue and stood and bounced on the spot (and tried to take loads of photos) as they played Slither, just looking for a gap to get down the front. Then it came. One of my all time fave tunes. The familiar drum into of Mr. Brownstone. It was about then I lost all care for the people around me and followed the charge down to the front. Inches from the barrier, and there I stayed throughout Brownstone, the beautiful sing-along of Patience and on through Paradise City.

What an epic show. I could watch that kinda thing every day of the week. It was just brilliant.

Ok, I am still sad I’ll never see Guns N’ Roses with Slash playing these songs, but this is the best it’ll ever be! Sorry Axl, the sham GN’R that you’re spearheading just doesn’t cut it!

Same time next year? Fuckin’ right!!!!

Hello!

Ok, so I wrote this post a month or so ago and within minutes of me kinda finishing it I’d gotten hold of a bit more stuff to add to it. So I thought I’d re-write and see where I got with it.

Basically, I’d ordered some new CD’s.  “Whoop” I hear you say, and it is whoop!  I’d been skint so far this year and hadn’t been able to get hold of anything new, and as a collector of CD’s that disappoints me greatly.  So with my new found wealth (which didn’t last) I ordered:

  • Times of Grace – The Hymn of a Broken Man
  • Slash – Slash Special Edition (It had 3 extra songs so I had to!)
  • Emmure – Speaker of the Dead
  • Oceano – Contagion
  • DevilDriver – Beast

Quite a mix there, eh?  Well since I wrote the post about these new bits n pieces I’ve gotten hold of some more stuff by Emmure, albums by Impending Doom, All Shall Perish, Baptized in Blood and my fave at the mo for sheer fun music, Royal Republic.  I’ll blast through and give you the lowdown.

Adam Dutkiewicz

How Cool?

Times of Grace was always going to be good. I love Killswitch Engage.  If you need to know how much I love KSE, then you need to track down the Couple that were standing next to me and Ben at Download in 2009, as they applauded our singing along to every Killswitch song played and apparently, we were better than Howard!  Anyways, Adam D is a legend and Jesse Leach’s vocals on KSE’s ‘Alive or Just Breathing’ are superb, so I was well up for hearing what times of Grace had to offer.  I’d already heard ‘Strength in Numbers’ and loved that and the rest of the album didn’t disappoint.  It’s loaded with melodic, catchy tunes, great Adam D guitar work and excellent vocals from both parties.  Not bad for a 2-man album.  Christ, I hate multi-talented people like Dutkiewicz.  And he looks good in a cape!!!!

Slash’s CD is just a re-release with some bonus tracks, which I wouldn’t usually buy ‘cause they piss me off. Seriously!  It used to be the case that the limited or special edition versions of a CD came out first, so the real fans and collectors got them as soon as they could.  I have many a ltd edition digipak and a few with Roadrunner Records first day stamps (Sepultura’s ‘Roots’, Machine Head’s ‘The More Things Change’, etc.).  A band released an album, the cool kids got the good stuff first and then there were normal versions for those who weren’t that bothered.  We – The Fans – buy our favourite bands albums when they come out, only for you – The Record Company Whores – to release better, more upgraded versions of said albums at a later date.  Err, fuck off!!  Now I have to buy a second copy of the album which I don’t need ’cause you’re money grabbing twats.  That’s not metal, is it??

Anyway, I digress.  I bought the Slash CD AGAIN because, as you know, I am a massive Slash fan (he says, sitting in the office at work in a GN’R t-shirt) and the CD had 3 acoustic tracks of songs I like and love on there.  Slash and Myles Kennedy performing Velvet Revolver’s ‘Fall to Pieces’ Slash and Myles’ ‘Back From Cali’ and my fave GN’R classic ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’.  “But Dan, you could have just downloaded the 3 tracks!”  Yes, I could have, but I’m a CD collector and Slash fan.  Unfortunately, this was a buyer.  Anyway, the songs are good and I love the solo album anyway, so it just made it better.  Could have saved these tracks for a limited edition version first release of the next solo album though!!!!!!!!!!!

Emmure - Speaker Of The Dead

Emmure's 'Speaker Of The Dead' - Heavy

Emmure.  Well, if you saw a previous post about me catching Emmure at the Never Say Die! Tour, you’ll know why I needed to get hold of some of their tunes at some point.  They’re just plain heavy.  And live, they’re even heavier and loaded with massive bass pulses that make your insides rattle. Speaker of the Dead was the first set of Emmure tunes I actually listened to properly, and it’s a thoroughly good album. Dirty, low-tuned riffs, nothing over complicated, just big, fat, heavy riffs and shouty vocals. Just what the doctor ordered. I’ve picked up the rest of their back catalogue since and it’s equally heavy. I still think ‘Speaker…’ is the better CD, though Ben will argue in favour of ‘Felony’. They’re all good though.

Got tickets to catch them on tour Next week at Manchester Academy and it’s going to be a bloodbath!  It’s Emmure, with Winds of Plague, I Wrestled A Bear Once, War From A Harlots Mouth and Visions on the “The Mosh Lives” Tour.  Mint.

DevilDriver’s latest album Beast is just another DevilDriver album.  I like DevilDriver, but they tent to do a few really good songs on every album and the rest just sounds the same.  They’re excellent to watch live as they have like 5 albums worth of material to pick an epic set from, but they’re not a band I can get into fully.  Don’t get me wrong, this CD isn’t crap, it’s just similar to all other DevilDriver albums to the point where nothing majorly stands out.  If you love their work, you’ll love Beast.  I only like it though.

Oceano are another great band a stumbled across a while back using the MySpace friends links.  Like Emmure, they just do big heavy riffs and deep growling vocals.  Oceano are more sludgy in their approach.  Listening to ‘Contagion’ is like listening to a giant slowly stomping the world to the point of Armageddon.  Oceano need to get back over to the UK soon, as I missed them last time due to being late out of work. 😦

Myself, Ben and Dave went to see Whitechapel recently inManchester.  It was a good show featuring Whitechapel, The Acacia Strain (who were ace) and a band I knew nothing about – Impending Doom.  These guys were epic.  Such a raw, heavy noise from a band with one guitarist.  Check ‘em out!  Again, following the sludgy heavy route but with a bit more technical stuff in the guitar work.  I’ve got hold of some of their tunes and they’re defo worth a listen.  They’ve got the sound of a band who’ve really worked hard to get where they have.

Baptized by Blood are a band I’ve been interested in hearing something by for a while.  I downloaded ‘Last Line Lady’ from Roadrunner Records website when they were giving it as a free mp3, and liked it.  Apparently, these guys are managed by Dave Mustaine of the mighty Megadeth, so they must be alright!  Album seems pretty solid.  Melodic metal riffage with some top class solos and growled vocals.  Think a more heavy Bullet For My Valentine with no singing or All That Remains type music.

Royal Republic

Royal Republic

Ahh, and now for a band that brought me out in fits of laughter from the moment the first song kicked in.  I downloaded a copy of ‘The Royal’, again from Roadrunner and thought “this sounds like fun”, then I forgot about it.  I remembered again recently that I had it and put it on.  Had to get a copy of the album! RoyalRepublic’s ‘We Are the Royal’ is a gem of an album of you’re into a more poppy, fun rock record.  Happy go lucky riffs, a superb vocal and fun lyrics.  Definitely a summertime album.  If you want a comparison, they’re a bit like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, with some Rocket From the Crypt, Tenacious D and a touch of the B-52’s for sheer novelty value.  It’s the sort of album that you need to stick on if you want cheering up or at a party.   It’s just fun.  They’re not metal, but they are still good to listen to!

And as a final note, I’ve just got the new Winds of Plague album, which is frickin’ ace!  Prob pop on summat about that after the Emmure gig (which is tonight!!!!).

Laters.

Now I never got into Alter Bridge straight off the bat. I think it was the whole ‘they were in Creed’ thing that put me off. I only like a few Creed songs, like ‘Bullets’, so I wasn’t that interested.

It wasn’t until a friend saw them perform at Download a few years back and text me saying “Just watched Alter Bridge. It’s them that do Edge’s entrance music”. For the non-wrestling fans out there, Edge is/was a WWE superstar, and it turns out that his entrance music at the time (still might be for all I know) was Alter Bridge’s ‘Metalingus’. And I liked that song.

So, me being me, just went to a shop the next day and bought myself a copy of ‘One Day Remains’. Got in the car and put it on, skipping straight to the aforementioned track. Loved it. So I listened to the whole C.D., loved that too. Went to see ‘em live and they impressed me. Bought ‘Blackbird’ and loved that. Seen ‘em a few more times since and they’re such a good live act. So it’s hardly surprising I got myself a copy of new album ‘AB III’.

Alter Bridge - AB III

Alter Bridge - AB III

So yeah, I like Alter Bridge. They’re a decent band who can pull out the fast, heavy riffs and still make it melodic, then throw some great clean vocals over the top that just adds to the music so very well. Then they can whip some slower heavy songs and acoustic tunes into the mix and some ‘lighters-in-the-air’ numbers to.

Mark Tremonti is a fantastic guitarist. I’ve watched him thrash the nuts off his guitar and not break a sweat. I’ve read in Total Guitar about how methodical his playing is, and heard some of the showy lead playing (Check out ‘Ahavo Rabo Taco Salad’ if you can) that he can do. And Myles Kennedy is a definite fave vocalist in my books. Always thought he was pretty awesome, but he really sealed the deal when he came over as Slash’s touring singer. I was chuffed to bits to catch the show in Manchester and witness Myles putting Axl to shame on some GN’R classics. Well, just singing the songs without walking off in a strop is putting Axl to shame, but Myles sang everything spot on.

Soooooooo, ‘ABIII’ is yet another great Alter Bridge album, packed full of big riffs, smooth lead playing, catchy vocals and great sing along moments. Each song as a familiarity about it. They’re definitely Alter Bridge tunes. They’re the sort of song you can hear once and the next time you hear it you feel like you’ve listened to it a hundred times before, like it’s one of their classic tunes. You just feel like you know it.

I like that in a song. One you’re instantly singing like you already knew it. For example, I found myself watching the mighty Skindred at Hammerfest performing an acoustic version of ‘Trouble’ at the Jagermeister truck/stage thing. We were all singing along “Trouble’s what you want… then you’re gonna get it!” like it was a firm fave Skindred tune and we’d heard it before. We even did the usual “that’s an ace tune, love that one, gotta stick that on when we get back”. So we got back to our Chalet (how very metal \m/) and proceeded to scour the ipod for the song. I only had Skindred’s first album ‘Bablylon’ at the time and we checked it to no avail. My mate was adamant he had a copy. Alas, no, we’d never actually heard it before! But, it’s the sign of a good song. We were singing it for the remainder of the festival and watched Skindred play the full version later that night. Ace tune. Aaaaanyway, once again I digress….

I’m sitting here with the track ‘I Know It Hurts’ on. It’s another classic Alter Bridge in-car sing along song. Quite fast, catchy chorus and fitting lead guitar. I can see I’m gonna enjoy this CD. On my own, in the car, where the world can’t hear me sing! “We all fall sometimes, you’re not the first, but I know it hurts….

There are some good, punchy songs to get your teeth into, like ‘Isolation’ and ‘Still Remains’, which have some nice metal guitar triplet chuggy moments in, big riffs and big choruses. Or if you prefer a slower tempo, yet still powerful sounding song, check out ‘All Hope Is Gone’. There are other great songs on here like the melodic melancholy of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or ‘Ghost Of Days Gone By’ where you’ll get slow clean verses building up into heavy, epic choruses.

A stand out track for me is ‘’Words Darker Than Their Wings’, which is a mix of everything. Clean intro, big guitars and a great dual lead vocal from Kennedy and Tremonti. Never heard him sing before. He’s got a pretty good voice. This is one of those epic Alter Bridge tunes like ‘Blackbird’ was and I loved that song.

Yep,  i love this album. So if you’re into Alter Bridge’s style, then I’d say get yourself a copy. It’s like Stone Sour, but all singing and no shouting, and a bit heavier musically.   Or like Creed but much heavier and with a much better singer. Defo worth a punt!

Due to my own stupidity and lack of money, I missed watching Alter Bridge on their current UK tour, just a few days ago. Gutted. I was told they were pretty damn good though. Ah well, Next time, Gadget…. Next time!!!

Hmm, they’ve got a DVD out too.  Didn’t know that!  Consider it on my Christmas list.  Here’s a snippet of Myles performing an acoustic version of “Watch Over You” from said DVD. Enjoy!

Find Alter Bridge on Myspace