So, you like Guns’n’Roses? –Slash’s Snakepit is for you
20 years 'Ain't life grand' – released on October 10, 2000
After the acrimonious split of GnR in the mid-90s, it took 15 years for the carrot-haired one to finish 'Chinese Democracy' (2009), a solo album really, not bad.
In all those years Slash made 2 records with his 'Snakepit', 2 records with the –almost GnR- Velvet Revolver and then went on as Slash & the Conspirators, still recording and touring.
Just saying: Slash, the charismatic guitar-slinger, showed the world who was the most capable songwriter too. The 2nd 'Snakepit album and the 1st Velvet Revolver album stand on top of this oeuvre.
Slash's Snakepit – Ain't life grand
The rock-press consensus favors the 1st 'Snakepit album ("It's 5 'o' clock somewhere", 1995) but what those record-companies' marionettes know? "5 'o' clock" sold a million on the back of the GnR split, the material is not strong enough, I consider it in the 'just ok' category.
According to the rock-press consensus again: album 'Ain't life grand' was not as…, well, 'grand'. Stupid f*ckers. Back in the day, I received a promo copy and it was the best rock record around. Still sounds amazing. Every single song is a corker: 'Landslide' in particular is the long-lost GnR or Slash signature tune, 'Been there lately', 'Shine', all of 'em. 'Ain't life grand', the title song could be a GnR classic in any given day. It seemed like Slash sobered-up. Velvet Revolver followed.
Velvet Revolver – Contraband (2004)
Virtually an Axl-less GnR, VR's 1st album is an iconic album, like a Greatest Hits set. No doubt the best rock album of the year. Rightfully it topped the US chart, selling a couple million copies – in 2004! We saw VR live in Greece in 2005, opening for the reunited original Black Sabbath.
Second VR album is ok too. Slash still delivers good tunes and his playing's recognizable wherever he contributes. Kicking off a solo career, album 'Slash' (2010) included several pop/rock star guests, doing good business (No 3). Good albums followed: 'Apocalyptic love' (2012), 'World on fire' (2014), 'Living the dream' (2018).
Still, I consider 'Ain't life grand' and 'Contraband' the ones that stand next to 'Appetite for destruction' and 'Use your illusion I & II' as equals.