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TESLA Simplicity

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Monday, December 1, 2014 @ 4:22 PM


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TESLA
Simplicity

Tesla Electric Company Recordings - 2014
http://www.teslatheband.com





Try as I might, the first four tracks on TESLA's new CD Simplicity just didn't work all that well for me. While there is a really interesting intro on the song "MP3", the lyrics were kind of boring as the song plays out as an ode to the perils of modern day progress from music to society at large. "Ricochet" had good music but again the lyrics didn't do much for me and the band referencing Ted Nugent just irritated me. As for "Rise And Fall" and "So Divine...", each song showed progress towards the better material on the album but still had flaws that held back my overall appreciation of them.

Things start to get a lot better in regards to the material beginning with "Cross My Heart". It is a song that moves quickly and has a bouncy vibe to it. The alternate tempo shifts on "Honestly" drive the song. It starts off slow like you might expect from a ballad track, but the more energetic musical soundtrack really enlivens the song.

There's a hot and spicy opening to "Flip Side!" that finds a particularly interesting vocal performance from singer Jeff Keith. The music during the main lyrical passages is reminiscent of a bluesy country track, but during the chorus, the hard rocking nature of the band takes over. Meanwhile, "Break Of Dawn" is a smoking hard rocking track. The guitar riff running through the song catches your ear easily and there's a down and dirty vibe to the track that manages to win you over with ease. I think the song is one of the best tracks TESLA's done over the course of their career. The intro to "Sympathy" feels almost dangerous, the band drawing you in to something rather unexpected. The song starts off a bit slow, but when the higher gear kicks in, I was blown away. The guitar work here is phenomenal.

The track "Other Than Me" had a slow to mid-tempo pacing and really struck home with me with the lyric "It's such a shame to see, that when you need a lover, it's someone other than me".

"Burnout To Fade" moves adeptly from mid to uptempo. The vocals have an added softness in their delivery, the song being a reflective look back. The ballad "Life Is A River" rises and falls over the course of the song from the soft beat to the rising crescendo you find in most "power" ballads. There's a nice little solo in the song that you'll find enjoyable all on its own.

I liked the way "Time Bomb" practically stalks your ears. The song rocks out and features a big backing choral movement from the band members that lets the song rise up to an anthem during the chorus. The song then slips loose its chain and suddenly the track turns into a burning race across the fretboards as guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude standout immensely.

What makes TESLA such a good band is that they craft quality rocking songs that don't need or have a lot of studio tricks added into the mix. They let their songwriting abilities stand on their own. Yes, I didn't care a lot for the opening four tracks, but overall, Simplicity shows that TESLA knows the ins and outs of what it means to be a rock and roll band with a clear vision for their music. I don't think Simplicity is a perfect album but the disc is probably their best since Into The Now. TESLA once again delivers the goods.

4.0 Out Of 5.0

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