"Made in Stoke - 24/7/11" (Armoury; 2011)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I'm a sucker for double-live albums. Always have been. So it should come as no surprise when I say I was thrilled to find Slash's two disc "Made in Stoke" in my mailbox.

Consisting of 21 tracks from various eras in Slash's career -- from Guns N'Roses to Slash's Snakepit to Velvet Revolver -- "Live in Stoke" plays through almost flawlessly, sounding more like a live performance of a single band than of three. A lot of that has to do with Slash's consistent guitar style and tone, of course, but it's also a sign of a great band playing strong material. And, say what you want about Slash, but he's created some of the greatest riffs of the past couple of decades, many of which are included here ("Sweet Child O' Mine," for example).

Vocals are performed here by Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge who does the smart thing and gives the songs enough of their original sound not to spoil them, but puts enough of his own spin here to make them sound fresh.

The album was recorded at Victoria Hall in Stoke On Trent on July 24th, 2011 and marked Slash's return to the town in which he grew up, which gives it a little historical value as well.

The usual complaints will be made, I'm sure, regarding those songs chosen to appear on the album and those that were not, but -- as with any live CD or greatest hits collection -- it's just a matter of taste. The 21 songs here are sprinkled with classics and some rarer tracks and it makes for interesting listening.

Perhaps most importantly, "Made in Stoke" makes the listener hungry for more material from Slash and Myles Kennedy and apparently that's exactly what's next. In the meantime, this 2-disc collection (also available in a deluxe edition with a DVD) should be enough to hold fans over.

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"Slash" (Sony Music; 2010)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is Slash's first solo disc. You would think that Slash should have put out a solo album a long time ago but he was sort of busy: Guns N' Roses, Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver. His timeline practically reads in that order (1987 - 2007). He's been playing for everybody but himself. It's good to see he still has passion for the instrument that made him a guitarist's pinnacle. One could argue that Slash's Snakepit was a solo album but he was performing with a band; this eponymous disc has a bevy of talented singers lending their voices to his signature sound. Ian Astbury, Ozzy, Chris Cornell, Lemmy and a few that might surprise you, like Fergie (yeah!), Adam Levine and Iggy Pop. I was quite impressed with Slash's prowess because he can play just about anything. He keeps with his rock roots and when he does cue it up with Fergie it's a funky track.

Slash also lays down some sweet blues on the track "By The Sword" featuring the lead vocals of Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother. In fact, its sounds like a Zeppelin track ... very tasty. "Slash" clocks in at an hour and some change. It's got plenty of licks and riffs that have Slash's sound all over them. He plays funk, rock and blues on this debut solo disc. Things kick into high gear when Lemmy starts growling on "Doctor Alibi." M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold lends his vocals on "Nothing To Say." It's pure metal at its finest! Commercially, this disc didn't do that well, but who cares how much it sells! Fans of Slash what to hear it, bottom line.

Slash also had some great musicians playing with him. You'll probably recognize these names: Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler. He's got a host of other ones too but this isn't a list of Who's Who, it's more for Slash. Mr. Saul Hudson also has an instrumental track on "Slash" entitled "Watch This" and it's a meaty monster at that. For Slash's first outing with his name on the marquee, I think he did quite well.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 21 Feb 2021 15:29:30 -0500.