Sunday, September 21, 2014
"World On Fire" comes in hot off the heels of the band's 2012 debut "Apocalyptic Love" and is a whopping 17 whole tracks of awesome rock n roll. Fans of the debut will be pleasantly surprised to hear a more charged up, driven band with "World On Fire". The bulk of the tracks here are more uptempo, harder hitting and overall more reminiscent of early Guns N' Roses as well. With tracks like "Automatic Overdrive" and especially the blazing title track, Slash and co. pound our eardrums with relentless riffing, screaming solos, soaring vocals and a slamming rythmn section. The band sounds as if they are getting extremely comfortable with themselves and there is a definite cohesive chemistry between these musicians. There are so many big hooks and grimy, sleaze rock riffs in tracks like "Dirty Girl" and "30 Years To Life". The guys obviously had a huge creative streak going this time around, dishing up a huge album filled to the brim of the disk with 17 songs, "Too Far Gone" being one of the album's stand out cuts with it's super catchy chorus and heavy main riff. "World On Fire" isnt all heavy-handed rock though. Mellower tracks like "Battleground" let the listener up for air a bit and round out the album with lots of beautiful melody, clean guitar pieces, and the amazing vocal range of Myles Kennedy. I could definitely see "Bent To Fly" being a gigantic single, that is, if the radio still played great rock music and MTV still showed music videos. It's epic chorus and almost Lynyrd Skynyrd like vibe on the verses with Slash's smooth acoustic guitar strumming make it a song to keep going back to. This album reminds me alot of Slash's Snakepit's 1995 debut "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere", it's got the loose, fun, feeling of a great rock album and much like the Snakepit debut, "World On Fire" from Slash's current band treats us to to an absolutely crushing instrumental track. "Safari Inn" is a heavy, funky, bluesy guitar driven opus. Slash lets it all hang loose on this one and there's everything in it that the old school GN'R fan has always loved Slash for with it's heavy riffs and frenetic soloing. All these years later Slash still has his signature, unmistakeable guitar tone, flawlessly transitioning from weighty, dirty riffs, to sleek, clean licks, to vicious, screaming leads that pierce through the music like a hot knife. "The Unholy" is a very insteresting cut. It is slow, brooding, moody and extremely dark. This track is a little more grungy than the traditional styled rockers on the rest of the disk and Myles Kennedy helps add to that mood by invoking shades of Chris Cornell vocally during the song's ominous verses. "Withered Delilah" really showcases the talent of The Conspirators. Todd Kerns and Brent Fitz are a solid bass and drum combo and they musically strut their stuff as the backbone of this song. "Shadow Life" is chock full of mean groove and nasty guitar licks that sound as if Slash culled them from the filthy gutters of California. The stomping, tribal beat and swaying riffs ooze forth from the speakers with street bred swagger, obviously our favorite top-hatted axe slinger hasnt forgotten his rock roots. If you love classic GN'R, Snakepit, Velvet Revolver and anything else Slash has done, you are going to absolutely worship "World On Fire" as there is a little bit of each of those bands styles here, but with Myles and the Conspirators helping to add their own fresh twist on it. Since 1996 Slash has made it abundantly clear he will never return to GN'R, and honestly if he keeps releasing material of this caliber, real fans of Slash and rock music in general will be too busy crankin this stuff up to care if he ever gets back with Axl again or not. Go get this album, you know you miss great rock and roll as much as I do, Guns N' Roses are the band who molded me in my youth and made me the music lover I am today, this album is a breath of fresh air, it's musical evidence of an old school hero climbing to the top of the mountain yet again, with a new bunch of amazing musicians. Grab a copy of "World On Fire" and crank that sucker loud, you wont be disappointed.