Tesla are just one of those bands that just ARE real rock & roll. Something about them is just meaty, and the band just exudes quality. Much has been written about this universally-acclaimed debut, and you don’t need me to tell you that this is up there with Van Halen’s first one in terms of significance to the rock world.But I’m going to anyway.Jeff Keith is a gritty and impassioned vocalist, while guitarists Tommy and Frank and technically excellent and tasty musicians whose duelling lead lines never fail throughout this work. They are ably backed by the more than tight rhythm section, in all making one of the most exciting musical units of the ’80s and early- to mid-nineties. Remember that “quiet first part of a verse that explodes in the second half of the verse sound” that was all over some of the louder hard rock bands in the ’80s? Here it is, fully showcased for the first time ever on this album, fully showcased on tracks like “EZ Come EZ Go” and “Modern day Cowboy”, which are, incidentally, two of the standout tracks on this album.The sound will appeal to the more aggressive hair metal fans as well as hard rock and heavy metal fans. The riffs are simple chord progressions, delivered with firey power and serious attitude. The guitar solos are kickin’, as you would expect, and in most cases the songs are good enough to showcase the band’s potential, including “2 Late 4 Love”, “Rock Me to the Top”, and the anthemic “Love Me.”It’s rare that a band sounds this good on their debut release, and listeners in 1986 must have been killing themselves with anticipation over what this band could develop into.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Tesla’s first long play effort (Mechanical Resonance) is still my favorite Tesla album,even after some 20+ years and 13 albums/CD’s later.
With hair bands dominating the scene for a good portion of the 80’s,Tesla’s MR was a breath of hard rock fresh air,when it came out in 1986.No spandex or VO5 for these guys…they always prided themselves as being a “hard rock,guitar and drum band”.
The album spawned a couple of minor hits;Little Suzi,Modern Day Cowboy and I distinctly remember hearing “Rock Me To The Top” on the radio,many times.The first two songs;EZ Come EZ Go and Cumin’ Atcha Live are just balls out,big sounding hard rock tunes,with a van Halen sounding,”Eruption” type solo in “Cumin’ Atcha Live”.
The rest of the songs are all quality,as well.Out of the twelve songs on this CD,there’s only one ballad;”We’re No Good Together”,so no “keep the suits happy” filler here,just straight ahead hard rock.This is surely one 80’s CD you won’t be embarrassed to tell your friends that you like.
Yes, I was a hair metal 13-yr-old headbanger when this baby came out. But only this album makes me proud of that fact. While my friends were busy watching Ricky Rachman (or however you spell that idiot’s name) helplessly hoping to regain their souls, I was busy losing my hearing on the only album that really mattered. If I have any Ratt or Cinderella or Dokken left in my collection, it’s only there for comfort and reminiscence. This CD on the other hand finds it’s way into a player at least once every couple of months. Like anything of quality, it’s stood the test of time. It sounds as relevant today as it did back then. Maybe even more so, considering their lack of popularity when this was first released.
The Great Radio Controversy may have brought Tesla the limelight. It may even have more depth and breadth than this. But nothing has the prowess, consistency, and, well, the guts that this album displays. Great, down to earth lyrics, blistering guitar work X2, awesome use of modern musical technology, and an uncanny confidence and muscle about it that only Mick Jagger or Jimmy Page should be able to flex. How can this possibly be the sound of a band’s first album? It’s simply insane.
For those of you who only know the “Love Song” or “Signs” Tesla, slap some Depends on before you listen to this album. If memory serves, this release hangs in history somewhere between ‘1984′ and ‘Appetite for Destruction’. It’s the perfect spot for it. If any comparison’s can be attached to Mechanical Resonance, it would be a mix between those two albums. But take that and make it harder, slicker and somehow more raw. This is an essential album for any rocker. It’s joining me on my way to work tomorrow, and the way home I’m sure. That’s its only flaw: if I pop it in my CD player, I may not listen to anything else for a week or more. But the absence of diversity is more than worth it.
I’m so excited in writing this review, more than twenty years after I did buy this album. I’m excited in writing the review for Mechanical Resonance, MECHANICAL RESONANCE, which to me is like a picture from my youth, a smell from my youth, … it is like having again the taste of the first kiss I had in my life. MECHANICAL RESONANCE GUYS!!!!! I remember quite clearly those days, when this album came out. Instead I can’t remember how many times I have listened to this one. A billion maybe! It is the soundtrack of my teen age years! This album is just one of those albums that sign a time. It is simply perfect, one note after the other, one riff after the other, one song after the other, nothing is out of place here. This album is perfection in this style. Few albums in this style we love, rock, hard rock, metal, hair metal whatever you may call this, can match this perfection. But Mechanical Resonance is up there with the best of them in the very first positions. It was a shot in the dark to me! I will never forget the first listenings! I remember quite well I immediatly thought … Wow this is unbelievable! Mechanical Resonance, yes, is perfect. It is the “Kind of blue” of rock ‘n’ roll, modern hard rock I might call this. Rock with chops, more chops than the Zep or Aerosmith. It was rock ‘n’ roll in the era of guitar heroes when the competition in guitar was very high. The guys from Tesla won that contest through a kind of Van Halen guitar style taking back to the simple and no frills rock’n’ roll. This is the album to have from those years. From any era if you want a rock album that will shake your walls and delight your ears. It will never sound dated because it is simple and sophisticated, hard and tender, anthemic and brilliant. It has that special quality of the things that you know from the very first time you listen to them, that will last. It is a perfect example of what rock should be about. No frills, great chops, great energy, simple but catchy songwriting, extremely clever arrangements, and that special sense of modernity that will never fade away in a thousand years from now. There are wonderful ballads like We’re no good together, phenomenal country rock songs like Little Suzi, incredible rock anthems like Ez come Ez go, or Comin atcha live, Cover Queen. I mean. It is perfect. It is FOR SURE one of the albums I love the most FROM ANY ERA. Neither Tesla ever reached this level. Some people say The great radio controversy is better. I don’t agree. “Radio” is a good album, but Mechanical Resonance is PERFECTION. Everything is perfect in this album, even the cover which exactly speaks for the music. A shot of fire, the warmth of the tubes, an electric meltdown that was going to shake the world. And it did!!!!! Lights and thunder guys, close your eyes and listen here it is one the best rock albums ever made, MECHANICAL RESONANCE!!!!!!!!!
THE BAND: Jeff Keith (vocals), Tommy Skeoch (guitars), Frank Hannon (guitars, keyboards), Brian Wheat (bass), Troy Luccketta (drums & percussion). Hometown: Sacramento, CA.
THE DISC: (1986) 12 tracks clocking in at just under 54 minutes. Included with the disc is a 6-page booklet containing a 2-page intro to the making of the band, musicians, song titles/credits/times, and thank you’s. All songs written by Tesla members except “Little Suzi” (Diamond/Hymas). Recorded at Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, NY. Label – Geffen.
COMMENTS: Start your Tesla collection with THIS album. “Mechanical Resonance” absolutely rocks. No filler – one blistering song after another. The album reached #32 on the Billboard charts. Certified radio hits with “Modern Day Cowboy” and “Little Suzi”. Mild successes with “Changes”, “Getting’ Betta” and “Cumin’ Atcha Live”. 4 of the 5 here (minus “Cumin Atcha Live”) made it to their “Time’s Makin’ Changes – The Best Of Tesla” disc. 5 songs from this album made it to their “Five Man Acoustical Jam” (1990) disc. “Mechanical Res” starts off fast and stays that way through track 7… with the exception of the slow and bluesy “We’re No Good Together”. The last 4 songs lean toward the slower/pop side. Simply a classic rock album (5 stars).
Behind the name – Nikola TESLA: Inventor, engineer, scientist… born: 1856 (Austria), died: 1943 (New York City). Inventions: a telephone repeater, rotating magnetic field principle, polyphase alternating-current system, induction motor, alternating-current power transmission, Tesla coil transformer, wireless communication, radio, fluorescent lights, and more than 700 other patents.