Tesla – “Shock” (UMC)
Battle Helm Rating
Oh wow, Tesla are back – and they’ve really switched on the juice this time! One of the world’s most celebrated and enduring rock bands, Tesla may have been born in the mid 80s, but has enjoyed international chart, radio, and tour success for nearly 35 years, with global album sales topping 15 million. Ever since I heard the magic of ‘Edison’s Medicine’, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for this band, whose ability to write winning rock, hard rock, ballads and rock n roll songs proves that not only is their legacy alive and well, but continuing well into the future! Now working with Def Leppard’s Phil Collen who’s producing and co writing this 8th album – himself having learned a thing or two from legendary Mutt Lange – it doesn’t just come as pleasant but also a proud achievement that “Shock” lives up to everything Tesla stands for. Unashamedly still retaining their classic sound, the 12 tracks here are certainly varied, as reflecting the diverse influences of the band members themselves, but all are equally deep and powerful in bringing back memories from the glory years of stadium rock, attesting to the talents of the still pretty much original line up. From the charged explosion of title track ‘Shock’ with its addictive power chords, huge melodies and Jeff Keith’s muscled but soulful vocals alternating dramatically with its quieter, brooding moments, it doesn’t take long before the guitars of Frank Hannon and Dave Rude shine and exude their love in abundance. Going straight for the heart on the anthemic ballad of ‘We Can Rule The World’ led by Keith’s tender voice, along with some passionate backing orchestrals that really put in the emotion, the beautiful spanish acoustic guitars added the final feather touch to this thoroughly moving piece. In contrast came ‘The Mission’, with its initially laid back vocals and distant guitars soon powering into massively addictive power chords complemented by suave acoustics and stylish slide guitar before soloing off into full 80s rock god mode – oh yeah baby! An awesome release in every aspect, be prepared to be electrified by the “Shock” of Tesla!!!