Roadrunner Records [Release date 13.10.14]
He’s a shrewd dude, Slash. You never see the whites of his eyes. A bit like The Stig, you never see the man beneath the top hat and behind the easy rider shades. Remove them, and he could walk amongst us mere mortals unrecognised. Add the low slung Les Paul, the tats, and the Guns ‘n’ Roses heritage and you’ve gone one word – icon.
But with the exception of Slash (2010) – a quite magnificent set on which he teamed up with a wide range of collaborators (including Myles Kennedy) his post Guns ‘n’ Roses output has seldom lived up to his legendary status.
In comparison, the follow up – Apocalyptic Love (2012) – with Kennedy fully on board – was a one dimensional affair, and despite a generous 17 tracks World On Fire simply deliver ‘more of the same’. There’s nothing to fault, but it’s rock ‘n’ roll by numbers aimed squarely at an undiscerning Classic/Planet Rock audience.
You sense that Slash could knock out the guitar lines like these in his sleep. But then, icons are adept at perpetuating the myth – when, for example, was the last time you saw Beckham ‘bend it’? On the basis of World On Fire, it seems Slash is content to do little more go through the motions on cruise control. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
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