Every once in a while people must find themselves asking just how many guitar riffs Slash has hidden beneath that iconic top hat of his. Clocking in at nearly 80 minutes and comprising 17 tracks, ‘World on Fire’ is by all accounts a lengthy record. Though mostly composed on the road, the end product is surprisingly cohesive and proves to be a suitable follow up to ‘Apocalyptic Love’, the first album to feature Myles Kennedy behind the mic.
Arguably among the most impressive vocalists on Slash’s original collaboration album in 2010, it’s good to see Myles Kennedy promoted to full-time front man. The chemistry between the two was immediately evident and ‘World on Fire’ is another step in the right direction.
They both have a shared vision of what they want to sound like as a unit.; something very clear from the consistency found throughout the album. It is, at its most basic, an unapologetically fun and energetic collection of great rock n’ roll songs.
Album opener World On Fire fits this criteria exactly with a classic riff from Slash and lyrics that talk about the “evils of the flesh and so much more”. You know, typical rock n’ roll stuff.
Myles’ dynamic vocal range has proven to be the perfect fit for Slash’s melodic guitar work. Slash is free to roam the fretboard, knowing full well that Myles can follow him vocally.
Bent To Fly and Automatic Overdrive show Slash prioritising melody in his guitar playing which allows Myles to fully express his range. This level of creative freedom the two have allowed each other is found in every song.
There is a lot of rock music out there but it is refreshing to hear it done this well. Stone Blind and Shadow Life are equally memorable for both the bone-rattling riffs and the melody that is weaved through them.
There is no deeper search for more meaningful or complex material – it is what it is and it is done very well. The length might put some people off, but the listeners patience will be rewarded. There is a sense that the consistency of quality makes you look forward to the next song rather than hoping you’re reaching the end. Quantity can only be good when quality is present.
Slash, Myles and their fellow Conspirators are among the few who are well and truly carrying the torch for classic rock. The structural makeup of their music is nostalgic and connected to the intangible magic of the genre. It’s good to see Slash paired with someone who can truly materialise this vision.
Sometimes nothing more is needed than a bold, fun and rockin’ album. And boy do they deliver just that.