Legendary guitarist and Mountain founder ‘Leslie West’ will release the new solo album, ‘Unusual Suspects’, on Monday September 19th. The album follows the recent news that West underwent life-saving surgery on June 17th, when his leg was amputated above the knee. While an ordeal such as this would surely deter other artists, West insisted on honouring the ‘Unusual Suspects’ album release date in September.
Released by Provogue Records, ‘Unusual Suspects’ features West performing alongside an all-star hand-picked line-up of the world’s finest guitar players, including Slash, blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Black Label Society front man and ex-Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbon and Toto’s Steve Lukather. ‘Unusual Suspects’ is West’s first album since 2006′s ‘Blue Me’.
“These guys don’t just show up to play on everybody’s albums,” says West on his special guests and the album’s title. “They’re all stars in their own right, and fantastic players – everyone with their own sound and style, about as far from the usual suspects as it gets.”
This CD is a cover album of sorts. Leslie West and company have chosen to take on the tunes of Bob Dylan for this record.
You love or hate for this record will likely stem from whether you like Bob Dylan or not. Personally, I have not been a Bob Dylan fan, so I found this record a little more palatable than some. I am not familiar with a lot of Bob Dylan’s songs, so for me, I am hearing these songs for the first time as presented by Mountain.
I like Leslie West’s raspy vocals, and I always enjoy good bluesy hard rock. I don’t know if Mountain does an adequate job on the cover tunes or not, but I like what I hear on this disc well enough to spin this a few times.
On this album, you get a guest appearance by Ozzy Osbourne on the track Masters of War. I am sure this was a trade off for Leslie’s appearance on Ozzy’s Undercover disc. Nonetheless, I enjoy hearing Ozzy here.
Masters of War is a bluesy guitar riff filled disc that I enjoyed to a lesser degree. Is this the best collection of Mountain tunes that I have ever heard? No, but it is a solid effort from Mr. West and company.
This is a disc that will mix well with some of the other southern hard rock discs that I enjoy. Masters of War won’t blow your mind, but if you are a fan of the band, it is certainly worth seeking out.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Masters Of War
2. Serve somebody with
3. Blowin’ In The Wind [heavy]
4. Everything Is Broken
5. Highway 61 Revisited
6. This Heart Of Mine
7. Subterranean Homesick Blues
8. The Times They Are A-changin’
9. Seven Days
10. Mr. Tambourine Man
11. Like A Rolling Stone
12. Blowin’ In The Wind [acoustic]