Slash is the person who inspired me to play guitar, even though I sound nothing like him. Seriously, he rocks! Ahem...
This was the debut album for the band that was to be known as Slash's Snakepit. After touring in support of the "Use Your Illusion" albums with his day job, Slash then went back home and began recording the songs he'd written on that tour. Word is, he presented the material to Axl Rose who didn't like it but would then throw his toys out the pram when this album was eventully released. It just goes to show how bad things were in the G'n'R camp at that time. Anyhow, Slash put a band together which included Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez, G'n'R drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Gilbey Clarke as well as Jellyfish vocalist Eric Dover so they could get the album out. It did reasonably well and the band were able to tour. However, Geffen pulled all tour support as they reckoned Axl was ready to record another G'n'R album. And we all know what happened there - we waited more than a decade to get an album of half-baked trip-hop and ill-advised techno experiments.
This album however, is either a major suprise or no suprise at all, depending on how you look at it. When I first heard it (I was either 16 or 17, I can't remember), I was expecting 'Appetite...' mk II but instead, I got an album that reeked of the good side of 70's rock (Basically, all stripped down, no-frills rock 'n' roll), which was the big suprise for me at least, but no suprise when you hear of Slash's influences. It's basically music for people who wear bell-bottoms with leather vests (Like in the gang warfare movie 'The Warriors').
The music itself ranges from blues to hard rock and is so laid back, it's practically parallell. Even on the faster numbers like 'Monkey Chow', 'Dime Store Rock' and 'Be The Ball' (The second best song about pinball, the first being 'Pinball Wizard' by The Who) there is a sense that everyone is chilled out and just doing it out of a love of playing music. There are a couple of numbers on here which sound quite vicious but that's no suprise. For me, album highlight is 'Beggars & Hangers-On'. Brilliant song with some awesome playing! Eric Dover's vocals remind me of Steven Tyler (Before Desmond Child and self-parody took over), going for the big 'rock God' sound without descending into cliche and self-parody. Musically, it's well done and should suit all your hard rock needs.
You don't necessarily need to be a G'n'R fan to appreciate this album as it should suit all fans of well done hard rock that harks back to a time when it was all about the music before the industry took over.
8/10 - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart.
You can buy this album on iTunes
Promo Video: Slash's Snakepit - Beggars & Hangers On
You can buy this album on amazon.
You can listen to this album on Spotify