Last Tuesday (March 31st) marked the 10-year anniversary for the release of Slash‘s star-studded, self-titled debut solo album, which originally hit shelves in 2010 although it wouldn’t arrive in North America until April 6th. The 14-track studio effort was the first under Slash’s solo banner and would go on to set the foundation for what would be a very successful post-Guns N’ Roses/pre-Axl Rose reunion-project decade for the veteran hard rock guitarist.
Comprised of a loaded lineup of guest vocalists which included future-Conspirators bandmate and Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, the album featured cameos from a blockbuster cast of rock singers and musicians including Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Cornell, Lemmy Kilmister, Iggy Pop, Andrew Stockdale (Wolfmother), Adam Levine, Dave Grohl, Ian Astbury (The Cult), and most notably, Slash’s former GnR bandmates (sans Axl), Duff McKagen, Izzy Stradlin, and Steven Adler.
The 2010 release marked Slash’s new album since the disbandment of the sweet but short-lived supergroup, Velvet Revolver, and it was immediately clear from the opening arpeggios of “Ghost” that the former Guns N’ Roses guitar hero was more than ready to unleash the material he’d been cooking up for some time.
The first thing to take away from this 60-minute rock and roll adventure is that Slash and company cover a lot of musical ground. The album opens confidently with a hard-hitting, meat-and-potatoes rock song based entirely around a quintessentially “Slash” riff with a strong performance from singer Ian Astbury to match. From there, Slash explores his darker creative side by channeling death alongside the “Prince of Darkness” himself, Ozzy Osbourne, on “Crucify The Dead”. Even “Beautiful Dangerous”, the song featuring Fergie, turned out alright. It’s a slower, sexier tune with serious potential to turn up the heat in biker bars and strip clubs thanks to an impressively seductive performance from The Black Eyed Peas singer.
With “Back From Cali”, the listener gets their first introduction to Myles Kennedy, the uber-talented singer of Alter Bridge with a seemingly limitless vocal range. Kennedy has since taken lead on Slash’s last three solo albums with his official backing band, The Conspirators, in Apocalyptic Love (2012), World On Fire (2014), and Living the Dream (2018). The progressive power ballad which acts as a love letter to Slash’s native Los Angeles still finds its way into the setlists of his solo performances to this day.
From there, fans are visited by an old friend in Chris Cornell on “Promise”. Even with a wonderfully haunting performance from the late Soundgarden singer, however, the song itself doesn’t offer too much in terms of innovative excitement. Slash then turns the page to the next track, “By The Sword”, which features another mind-blowing vocal performance—this time from Andrew Stockdale. “Die By The Sword” serves as another track built around a Slash’s muscular introductory guitar riff and a features what’s maybe the best solo on the album.
As cheesy as it was to watch Adam Levine channel his inner frat-boy persona when he ripped off his shirt during Maroon 5‘s halftime show performance at the Super Bowl in 2019, the pop-rock singer-turned-reality television judge redeems himself on “Gotten”, which glides along with wonderful ease as the album’s best-sounding ballad. In a successful attempt to keep listeners on their toes, Slash then delivers a 180º pivot as Lemmy (Motörhead) makes his grand entrance with an unadulterated rock and roll performance on the adrenaline-pumping “Doctor Alibi”.
“Watch This” acts as the only instrumental of the 14-track album, and Slash finds the comfort to have some fun and explore while nestled in the rhythm pocket created by a hard-hitting Dave Grohl on drums and Duff McKagen on bass. The album’s harder, darker themes continue with the heavily distorted “Nothing To Say” featuring M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold. The track slingshots the listener into overdrive thanks to the palm-muted, 16th-note strumming pattern from Slash reminiscent of a steam locomotive charing down the tracks at dangerously high speeds.
Kennedy returns towards the end with yet another fantastic performance on “Starlight”, which again features Slash staying in motion and active with his hands throughout. Spanish guitar-inspired themes take center stage on the softer “Saint Is A Sinner Too” before the ride comes to a triumphant ending with Iggy Pop leading the way on “We’re All Gonna Die”. Only a pair of rock and roll blackhats like Slash and Iggy can get away with the overly-literal lyrics, “Gee, I really like your tits/I’ll say anything that fits,” and an anthemic chorus line of, “We’re all gonna die, so let’s get high/We’re all gonna die, so let’s be nice.”
Revisit the Slash’s debut album for its 10th anniversary in the video trailer and full audio below.
Slash Album Trailer
Slash – Slash [Full Album]
As for Guns N’ Roses, the band has plans to embark on a 19-city stadium tour of North America beginning on July 8th at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA, although the upcoming run of shows is in doubt with the current state of the live music industry. Head to GnR’s website to stay updated on the status of their upcoming performance.