Tesla – Shock (UMC)

Tesla gained huge traction as Def Leppard’s go-to support act during the late 80 and both bands continue to tour together in 2019 – this summer will see the pair share Download’s main stage.

But while Leppard have sold millions of albums worldwide and will headline Donington’s hallowed turf for the umpteenth time in June, their friends and fellow musos have remained the preserve of rock fans in the know, rather than the darlings of the masses.

And who knows why?

Shifting 15 million records worldwide isn’t bad business, of course. But talk Tesla down the local pub and it’s unlikely you’ll find anyone who isn’t convinced you want to discuss the ins and outs of Elon Musk’s latest model. And that’s a shame.

Shock isn’t anything of the sort. It’s the least shocking Tesla album you’ll ever hear – it’s bursting with the quality and consistency that’s become synonymous with the bluesy hard rock heroes.

Taste Like plays on a Rolling Stones riff and power ballad We Can Rule The World would have been an unstoppable chart topper 30 years ago. Jeff Keith’s throaty rasp remains one of the most reassuring sounds in rock and the veteran frontman has lost none of the emotion and authenticity that underpinned Modern Day Cowboy, Hang Tough and Love Song.

And Tesla have never been afraid to switch things up. The urgent title track is founded on a chunky riff, a pounding bass line and layered vocals – not too dissimilar to their Leppard buddies. And it should come as no surprise that this record is co-written and produced by a certain Phil Collen.

Tesla could – and should – have been as big as Van Halen, Kiss and Bon Jovi. But if they’re still classic rock’s best kept secret then it’s never too late to hitch a ride and join Keith in the fast lane. You’ll be shocked at just how good this band really is.