Yet again one of classic rock’s ultimate heroes has matched his signature sound with a limited edition collectors’ fanpack.
And there’s more than enough to delight Slash aficionados of every age and era with a load of goodies to complement the instantly recognisable music.
Here’s the RUSHONROCK verdict on World On Fire.
Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators – World On Fire (Classic Rock Fanpack)
Genre: Classic Rock
A word of warning when unwrapping your latest Slash fanpack: breathe.
It’s a lot to take in and, perhaps, too much in one sitting. In fact the third chapter of the ultimate guitar hero’s post-Velvet Revolver story is almost overwhelming in its scale, sound and seriously affecting lyrical content.
As a whole it’s the record that sounds most like Guns N Roses could have sounded were it not for the band’s untimely mid-90s implosion. Self-assured vocalist Myles Kennedy is now so comfortable as Slash’s artistic foil that he’s not afraid to mimic Axl and, at times, eclipse the enigmatic one. Playing Mr Rose at his own game is a sensible move as the world awaits the fabled follow-up to Chinese Democracy.
Let’s face it: Slash and Kennedy have been belting out the best versions of the Gunners’ biggest hits for years now – at the same time honing their craft as an original songwriting team and ensuring modern classics like Back From Cali, Halo, Anastacia and, more recently, World On Fire have stealthily crept into the consciousness of classic rock fans the world over.
The familiar title track aside, this latest collection of 17 tunes doesn’t boast the obvious stadium anthems expected of Slash, Kennedy and their co-conspirators. At least not initially. But give World On Fire the time and the respect it deserves and what emerges is an accomplished batch of brilliantly understated slow burners.
Just which of the riff-tastic songs here secure their place on this autumn’s UK arena setlists remains to be seen. Too Far Gone and the title track should make the cut with ease but Stone Blind boasts a brilliant riff that, according to Slash, was conceived on his couch. That settee could tell some stories…
As bloated studio tracks Wicked Stone and 30 Years To Life overstay their welcome at more than five minutes apiece but given the room to breathe within a flexible live set both songs could make a significant impact.
At the opposite end of the (time) scale instrumental Safari Inn – harking back to Slash’s youth trawling the Sunset Strip – isn’t a natural fit for a live audience and yet it’s a sensational three-minute snapshot of the world’s greatest living guitarist at his creative best.
That’s the music – or at least some of it – but the fanpack is exactly that. As Slash explains a few pages in to the 116-page magazine dedicated to World On Fire ‘It’s like it used to be: buy the record, put the record on and then read the ultimate sleevenotes’.
Ok, the glossy accompaniment to the shiny audio is some filler and not all killer. With all due respect to Candain rhythm king Todd Kearns does anyone really want to read 10 pages on a bass player (apart from bass players and bass techs and bass guitar manuafcaturers…). But even that represents a great scoop when compared with a feature on Ron English, the artist who should be lambasted, rather than lauded, for his dog’s dinner of a job on the album sleeve. Honestly, what’s all that about? It even makes the album sleeve on GnR’s The Spaghetti Incident look like a Turner Prize-winning piece of art.
Elsewhere there’s some great stuff including another revealing chat with the man himself, a typically astute and considered interview with Kennedy and the essential track-by track guide to a monumental piece of work.
Throw in an exclusive pin badge – a cute little extra but one for the kids – and the kind of giant glossy poster that used to adorn your student digs and this is about as good as is gets in the soulless world of the nondescript digital download. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 World Of Slash