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Tesla: Simplicity

Simplicity is something I've always associated with Sacramento's Tesla, a band who resisted the lipstick and hairspray so prevalent in the Hard Rock world when they debuted back in 1986 with the simply marvellous Mechanical Resonance. Solid riffs, no frills singing, straight up beats and hard work (and no little skill and talent, mind) have always been the order of the day for this band; the results varying from strong - The Great Radio Controversy, Bust A Nut or previous album Forever More, to sublime the aforementioned debut, Psychotic Supper or, I'm delighted to say, Simplicity.

At the time of its release, 2008, Forever More was well received, yet the passing of a few years finds it to be one of the less substantial offerings from this band and while far from bad, Simplicity simply knocks it for six. A more organic approach and a sizzling set of songs sees to that, as does a soothing vocal from Jeff Keith that still somehow sounds like it should strip his throat as he delivers it. While the relaxed yet urgent twin guitar attack from Frank Hannon and Dave Rude sure as hell doesn't hurt either.

Opening track "mp3" bursts the doors in with a riff almost Sabbath like in size, yet still Tesla enough to be unmistakable. It's a statement of where the world is, how misguided technology has made many of our day to day "priorities" and it's hard to argue with the sentiments. From there the standards simply don't drop, whether through the mid paced stomp of "Sympathy" or more feisty staccato explosion of "Time Bomb", the energetic smack and throb of "Flip Side" and "Ricochet", or the slow beautiful "Honestly" and "Til That Day". The latter being one of the best of these types of tracks this band has created, which is saying something. Drummer Troy Lucketta remains the hidden strength of Tesla, nailing everything to the floor, his cymbal excursions adding colour and flair, while the manner in which he and bassist Brian Wheat lock together is a huge lesson for any other Rock act desperate to sound as joyously "loose" as Tesla do.

Recent times have seen many bands pairing down their albums to a more vinyl era length of ten or twelve tracks, so it's also to the credit of Simplicity that the fourteen songs here never bore, or lose focus, the overall feeling being that rather than outstaying its welcome, this album is over all too quickly. But then that's what the repeat button is for!

Simplicity is an ethos we should maybe all take on-board. If the results are half as good as what Tesla have created here, we are all sure to benefit!


Track Listing
1. MP3
2. Ricochet
3. Rise and Fall
4. So Divine...
5. Cross My Heart
6. Honestly
7. Flip Side!
8. Other Than Me
9. Break of Dawn
10. Burnout to Fade
11. Life Is a River
12. Sympathy
13. Time Bomb
14. 'Til That Day

Added: June 23rd 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Tesla online
Hits: 1451
Language: english

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Tesla: Simplicity
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-06-23 06:41:01
My Score:

Damn...if veteran rockers Tesla weren't out to prove a point with their latest release Simplicity, then they sure as hell sound motivated. This is pedal to the metal, balls to the wall hard rock, and I stress the 'hard' and the 'rock' in this instance, the band creating one of their heaviest platters in years. "MP3" and "Ricochet", "Flip Side", "Sympathy", "Time Bomb", and "Break of Dawn" contain some mean, nasty riffs, with lead vocalist Jeff Keith snarling over the top as if it was 1987 all over again. He and the band show their softer side with some catchy, stirring ballads, like "So Divine...", "Honestly", " 'Till That Day", and "Cross My Heart", but for the most part this is just a very solid set of blistering American hard rock that is Tesla through and through. Honestly, they sound no different today than they did nearly 30 years ago when they debuted on the scene.



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