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Tesla’s Simplicity

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By SethM

If you’ve ever caught my past Tesla reviews, you already know I am a fan of these guys and have been since they came on the scene with Mechanical Resonance in 1986. Fast forward 28 years later and Tesla are still hard at work and have just released their latest album, Simplicity.

PromoImageSimplicity kicks off with the sound of a needle dropping onto an old-school record. For those who don’t remember and can’t picture what a record is, the band offers “MP3,” which speaks to the transition of musical formats and the music industry itself. “MP3” rocks right into “Ricochet,” which pays tribute to fans, the road and the Tesla journey, a three-pronged theme that finds its way into a few of the album’s songs including “Cross My Heart.”

My favorite aspect of any Tesla album or show is that it’s stripped down, raw bluesy rock and roll ~ and Simplicity maintains the style that made Tesla’s many earlier albums so successful and will no doubt do the same for it.


Simplicity
Tracklisting

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

4With a mix of dueling guitars courtesy of by Frank Hannon and Dave Rude, solid drumming and bass by Brian Wheat and Troy Luccketta respectively, and the unmistakable vocals of Jeff Keith, Simplicity gives us distorted blues riffs, catchy choruses, ballads and what honestly feels like an old school album in the best sense of the term, providing highs and lows as you listen; the band really has captured what it feels like to drop your needle on the vinyl for a listen. My personal favorites are “Break of Dawn,” which was a welcome Tesla flashback, “Other Than Me,” a terrific ballad, and “Sympathy.”

I had the opportunity to catch Tesla live last week and after all these years was still so impressed by how great their show despite ~ or I suspect largely due to ~ its simplicity (no pun intended). The band comes on stage very nonchalantly and with no pomp and circumstance, they’re in jeans and T-shirts, and with no gimmicks or distractions from the music itself, they rock their fans. Simplicity captures the essence of Tesla perfectly, so for those of us who’ve enjoyed the band for decades, it’s a wonderful revisit of their talent and style, and for anyone who loves unadorned, straight-ahead rock n roll, you’re going to want to pick up the album ~ and should also consider becoming familiar with Tesla’s back catalogue

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For a list of their upcoming tour dates, click here.

 

1In the meantime, here are a couple of clips from the Irving Plaza show I caught on June 18:

 

Tesla performingThe Way It Is” 

Comin’ Atcha Live”  

Love Song” 

For more on Tesla, visit their official website, check them out and Like them on Facebook, and while you’re there, Like FlashWounds, too!

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