(8/10) It was in the second half of the 80's when a new band entered the scene. They had a pretty interesting sound and already their debut album "Mechanical resonance" didn't take prisoners. Their second album "The great radio controversy" became their next highlight. But for me it's still "Five men acoustical jam", a live unplugged album, which is the icon of the band.
The trademark of Tesla is the 'scratchy' and rough voice of singer Jeff Keith. The grapevine says, that Keith trainind his voice by singing to songs played on the radio during long truck rides. However, the vocals are standing out and makes an Tesla song immediatley recognisable.
With some up's and down's the band from Sacamento is in the meantime almost 30 years in business and releases in June 2014 their new studio album called "Simplicity". It took the band 6 years ("Forever more" was released in 2008) to come out with this album. The result shows, that it was worth waiting.
Tesla wanted to produce an album which goes straight back to their roots. They produced it in the same way as they did with "Into the now" from 2004 and I think they succeeded. "Simplicity" has no real title track, but the opener "MP3" could be seen as being the one. The tune is kept in mid-tempo with a typical Tesla melody line. The lyrics are about the modern world and all the missing simplicity which is connected to it. "Rise and fall" is another cool track. Starting with a pumping bass and the vocals from Keith, the song stays on a slow and ballade-like level with acoustic guitars. And Tesla can still give these kind of songs the necessary rock'n'roll feeling. The same goes for the following track "So divine". One of the heaviest songs on the album is called "Flip side!". It starts with a powerful guitar riff, the verse is acoustical before the tune explodes again in the chorus. Another well-crafted track is "Break of dawn" which is based on the guitar sound and the deep groove rhythm a real headbanger. My personal fave is the piano based "Life is a river' which comes with very intelligent lyrics. The song spreads a cool atmosphere amd the captivating chorus is the cherry on the cake. You need another heavy tune? Here you go. "Time bomb" serves you with what you need. The song is a bad-ass-headbanger with a snappy beat and down tuned guitars.
All in all I can state that Tesla is still around after so many years. "Simplicity" became a grooving and rocking album which shows, that simplicity is a virtue. A must for all rock fans.
- Rise and fall
- So divine...
- Cross my heart
- Flip side!
- Other than me
- Break of dawn
- Burnout to fade
- Life is a river
- Time bomb
- 'Til that day
- Burnout to fade (writing demo version)
Label: Frontiers Records