The Ides Of March confirms Myles Kennedy as a musical powerhouse

Out now: Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy brings hope amid banana bread and glitchy Zoom meetings on The Ides Of March

Myles Kennedy - The Ides Of March
(Image: © Napalm Records)

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Get Along berates the state of our apathetic times with a hefty dollop of Myles Kennedy’s blistering guitar playing, which also underpins much of A Thousand Words. In Stride, inspired by the hoarding of toilet roll and pasta, aggressively encourages us to collectively calm down: ‘Cool down, baby, you know you’re gonna burn out in time/ Sometimes you gotta let go and just open your eyes.’ 

In a world where caution is the by-word as we begin blinking blearily into normal life once again, this core message delivered through the power of slide guitar can serve as a daily mantra. A similar insouciance weaves through Moonshot and Wanderlust Begins. The former blends in a hint of blues, while the latter is more country but eschews cliché in its twangy embrace of the unknown: ‘Don’t give a damn where we go or what might be, as long as I’m right here with you.’

Heavier choruses move fluidly between lighter verses on the album’s title track, punctuated by the first, pensive solo; the apex of Kennedy’s almost-eight-minute rhapsodic wail is driven home by the second. Close your eyes and you’re in a candlelit chamber at the start of a sinister fairy tale, listening to that ominous acoustic warning. 

Love Rain Down demonstrates Kennedy’s sharp ability to pivot from stratospheric vocal belting to a voice that is sombre in its vulnerability. The song yearns: ‘Let your love rain down, let it wash away the sorrows I’ve found.’ Acoustic undertones are the bed for a resonant solo to see out the album’s ballad.

Once the sanitised misery of lockdown ends and we’re allowed to sweat near each other again, Tell It Like It Is has the foot-twitching introduction of an arena anthem, encouraging audience participation with hand-claps and an a cappella pre-chorus. Zia Uddin also does his best to brainwash the listener into buying a drum kit as soon as is humanly possible. 

Wake Me When It’s Over and Sifting Through The Fire are high-impact fillers, but Worried Mind is the most straightforward blues track. However, any quiet reassurance given at the beginning is subsequently thrust aside by diaphragm-quivering vocals and a searing flurry of guitar shredding. 

Merging lyrical nonchalance with the instrumental buoyancy of country and the emotional rawness of blues makes for a powerhouse of sanguine musicality. Keep a ladder handy so that you can retrieve your socks from a nearby telegraph wire when you’re done.