30 years since the formation of Guns N’ Roses, lead guitarist Saul Hudson has made a name for himself as one of hard rock’s most prolific guitarists. Better known as ‘Slash,’ his work with the band has earned him critical acclaim and saw him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
A brand new release, The Dissident is the third single taken from World On Fire and so far the hooky track is proving to be a major fan favourite.
Having already collaborated on his previous two solo releases, Slash has once again roped in the talents of Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy who laid down the vocals for the album. Singing on The Dissident, Kennedy again proves that when it comes to hard-hitting rock this pairing is a match made in heaven. While he approaches the verse’s politically-oriented lyrics with a depth and sincerity that urges the listener to take note, his soaring high notes of the chorus provide a stark contrast, especially when paired with a “woah-oh-oh” refrain that is clearly designed to get the audience singing along.
Unfortunately there are some points throughout the track where Slash’s vision isn’t fully communicated. For example, The Dissident opens surprisingly with a tinny, crackling recording of what appears to be an old folk song about a man who repeatedly loses his tractor. The significance of which is likely to go over the heads of many listeners, but is sure to engage your immediate attention, at least. In addition, there are qualms to be had with the lyrics which, when studied to closely, may come across as overly commercial and as a result, lacking in any real impact or insight.
However, all this is easily swept aside when, around the three minute mark, Slash steps in with a good old-fashioned guitar solo that redeems the song overall. A gutsy reminder of how he has earned his position on the Hall of Fame, The Dissident may not be faultless overall, but is sure to stand out as one of the most individual and catchy tracks on the album.