Tesla - Simplicity (Frontiers Records)

Purely and simply brilliant.
Release Date: 
6 Jun 2014 (All day)

American hard rockers Tesla – you gotst to give it to these guys, even after thirty years and then some they can still DELIVER the goods when it comes down to recorded output. And though, as the industry might have changed in that time (takin’ us, in the words of album opener MP3, ‘all the way from the phonograph record to the MP3’), there’s somethin’ mighty comfortin’ about hearin’ vocalist Jeff Keith’s raspy howl comin’ atcha live outta the speakers, somethin’ very comfortin’ indeed…

In fact, nothin’s changed at all about the way Tesla go about their business since their very own year zero. Rootsy, bluesy, CLASSIC rockin’ goodness is the order of the day – all day – with the likes of Ted Nugent worshippin’ track Ricochet and standout track So Divine soundin’ for all the world like tracks culled from some secret sessions undertaken in the band’s heyday. Keith in particular yelps and chirrups like a young man possessed, belying a career  longer than most bands can even dream of – the man’s a trouper, an’ no mistake!

Hell, he even adopts a chucklesome ‘Steven-Tyler-singing-cockney’ schtick on Rise and Fall that’ll have ‘em rollin’ and tumblin’ in the aisles wherever it’s heard and yet… you end up lovin’ the guy for his silliness, and lovin the track too for it’s sleek, CLASSY hard rockin’ brilliance.

Classy is probably the best word to describe Simplicity; The whole album don’t be makin’ no attempts at breakin’ any new ground, but it does what it does with damn near PEERLESS brilliance and a cocksure confidence that tells other bands in this field that the boys are back in town an’ ready to take back their crown… Just one listen to the uber-hair metal gonzoid glory of So Divine tells anyone with half an ear that very fact. It’s the best classic hard rock my old ears have heard in a long, long time and I’ll take a bet now that you’ll agree with the lucky stryker when you hear it… classic stuff!

Jeff Keith aside, a lot of the KUDOS here has to go to twin axe gods Frank Hannon and Dave Rude, who pull out every stop throughout Simplicity to bring you maximum aural pleasure. From out an’ out hard rock hysteria (sorry to mention So Divine again, but…) to the sort of bluesy strut the Black Crowes would be proud of (honestly, the track Cross My Heart seriously beats the Bros Robinson at their own game!) these guys just don’t stop, In fact their playin’ on the mega and oh-so-very-Tesla ballad Honestly is absolutely spinetinglin’ stuff, the kinda stuff that legends were born from back in the day, but will sadly probably just get lost in the flood in 2014, which is sad but there ya go – we still respect that sort of thing here!

If I have one quibble, it’s that the album might be a couple of songs on the long side for my linkin’ but too much ain’t enough as your very own Mr Barnes might have said, so why am I complainin’? Just buy this BITCHIN’ album – you’ll love every last bit of it, I guarantee!