September 21 2018 marks the return of Slash Ft Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators with their new album “Living The Dream”. The band have been off tending to other projects since wrapping the “World On Fire” tour in late 2015, but have made up for lost time with 12 absolutely phenomenal songs. Recorded between NRG Studios and Slash’s own Snakepit Studios, SMKC takes the listener on a journey like no other. Hear2Zen is proud to take you “Inside The Dream” with a multi part special on this album, starting with a track by track review. We will also get insights into the songs, the process and the recording from band members and engineers. Check back in for Part 2 tomorrow, but for now here is our track by track review of Slash Ft Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – Living The Dream
Call Of The Wild – Kicks the album off with a cool intro riff which has a funky vibe but keeps you guessing, because before you know it, it kicks into the up-tempo album opener. This sets the tone for what’s to come. The whole band stands out on this one with solid playing from all and great vocals and harmonies.
Serves You Right – Bluesy intro, with what is almost a dragging riff, but it isnt, its just laid back. Some people don’t realise what a great bluesy player Slash is, which shows alot on songs like this. The then moves into a grimy blues rock number. The addition of Frank Sidoris shows on these style of songs because you can really distinguish between his playing and Slash’s.
My Antidote – 3rd and newest teaser from the album starts off with some great harmony vocals from Myles and Todd and then takes off to a next level rock power house. Brent Fitz absolutely shines on this song, but shows how he plays for the song and not himself. Rock solid foundations are hard to find without the drummer needing to throw all the bells and whistles in. Fitz could do that if he wants but knows what good rock drumming is about.
Mind Your Manners – 2nd teaser and destined to become a live staple in the SMKC set. Straight down the line Rock N Roll which Slash is known best for. There is no let up in this one. Reminds me of “One Last Thrill” from Apocalyptic Love, but still stands on its own. The vocal work between Todd and Myles again shines.
Lost Inside The Girl – Another slow blues rock styled song which is one of those songs that shows why, in my opinion Myles Kennedy is the still one of the best if not the best singers in rock today. He takes you on a moody trip and his emotive vocals are way to good to ignore.
Read Between The Lines – With a cool funky intro , showing Slash’s love for the Wah pedal, leads into a great song where the dynamics make the song. The verses are right back and flow, then the chorus kicks you straight in the balls, with some cool answering vocal parts from Todd Kerns
Slow Grind – The bass prowess of Todd Kerns in the forefront. Some awesome walking bass parts are all over this album. The playing is reminiscent of the big bass players of the 60’s and 70’s. Between Kerns and Fitz on drums they provide a monster backbone on this song which allows Slash to let fly on lead guitar
The One You Loved Is Gone – My absolute favourite song on the album. From its “Only Women Bleed” style intro, the intricate vocal harmonies of Kerns and Kennedy, the Keyboards and Drums of Brent Fitz and the outstanding guitar work of Slash and Frank Sidoris, this song, to me if SMKC were to be remembered by one song, this would be it. It is perfect in every way, and should be the next single. The singalong at the end is just a bonus waiting for the live stage.
Driving Rain – Our first introduction to the new album. Perfect kick off with the interplay between Slash and Sidoris on display. Great to have Frank featuring on his first album with SMKC though he has been in the band as touring guitar player since 2012. The song has reached Top 10 in the US and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Sugar Cane – takes you back to more of an Apocalyptic Love era SMKC, but without resting on its sound. The one thing is when you hear that riff you know full well who is holding the guitar. A song that just shows my Myles lead vocals is the perfect foil for Slash. Special mention to Brent Fitz for really being solid as a rock on not just this track but the whole album
The Great Pretender – The epic styled guitar intro leads into a laid back number which has a few twists and turns and a really dark and heavy intro riff into some soaring soloing.
Boulevard Of Broken Hearts – Cannot get the intro to this song out of my head. The killer builds mixed with dips and dives within the song take you on trip which shows why it’s the perfect closer for the album. Epic is an understatement. I really would love to see this end the live set too. It just belongs there. Such a great end to 12 fantastic songs.
Living the Dream represents the best of all 3 SMKC albums.While not as heavy as World On Fire, there is a power to this album that cannot be ignored. I feel that by not being as heavy helps it as it appeals to a wider fan base while remaining familiar for the die-hard fans. The live shows so far show how well the new songs mix in well with the older songs from Apocalyptic Love and World on Fire. The band has taken no prisoners on this album, and by the huge reception for the songs released from the album so far, it will be easy to see why Living The Dream will easily be given that classic album status in no time, once all the other songs have been heard. No dead air on this, no filler, no bonus tracks, just 5 musicians at the top of their game, hitting a home run.
The Band: Slash – Lead Guitar / Myles Kennedy – Lead Vocals / Brent Fitz – Drums, Percussion & Keyboards / Todd Kerns – Bass Guitar and Vocals / Frank Sidoris – Guitar
Don’t forget to check back for Part 2 tomorrow.