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Mechanical Resonance (Live)

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Album Review

Sacramento's oddly named Tesla (a moniker inspired by renegade inventor and pioneering electrical engineer Nikola Tesla) took the side door to '80s hard rock success, sneaking up on the charts and into the bedrooms of none-the-wiser glam metal consumers with their rock-solid debut, Mechanical Resonance — itself titled after one of Nikola's better-known experiments, and a fascinating case study in musical compromise if ever there were one. Essentially, the album was partitioned into two quite different halves, with side one predominantly tailored to seduce the aforementioned music fans via radio-friendly templates and therefore packed with mostly throwaway, cliché-ridden arena anthems like "EZ Come, EZ Go," "Cumin' Atcha Live," and the gloriously dumb "Rock Me to the Top," boasting few surprises but plenty of testosterone. Yes, a few hints of Tesla's substantial songwriting intelligence can be glimpsed within the gritty strut of "Gettin' Better" and the bluesy balladry of "We're No Good Together," but most of the band's more mature and accomplished songs are saved for Mechanical Resonance's revelatory side two. Here, lead guitarist Frank Hannon really takes charge and establishes himself as the band's de facto difference maker, beginning with an epic of Led Zeppelin-like class and complexity in "Modern Day Cowboy," which was built upon a lopsided riff so irresistible that not even its finger-twisting complexity could keep it from becoming one of their most popular standards. This was followed by another pair of eventual fan favorites doubling as good examples of Tesla's creative range, since the wintry drama of the piano-laced "Changes" stood in stark contrast to the upbeat summer vibe of "Little Suzi." And finally, as though the aforementioned detours didn't proffer enough food for thought, Tesla even flirted with art rock on the odd rhythms and clever economy of "Cover Queen," before concluding with the desolate sobriety of closer "Before My Eyes." Given all these qualities and contrasts, it's no wonder that Mechanical Resonance stood out as one of the 1980s' most eclectic hard rock albums, and provided a formidable introduction to one of the era's most underrated American bands. [A 2016 CD re-release added the bonus track "Save That Goodness."]

Customer Reviews

not so good

I've been following/seeing Tesla since I was first introduced to them in 88 opening for Def Leppard.
Honestly I thought Tesla was better live at that show lol.

To cut to the chase this live show is boring and uninspiring.
Although its not, it sounds like they put this together for label contract obligations.
Jeff and the band sound like they are just going thru the motions , rushing thru the songs and , focusing too much on not makeing a mistake instead of having a good time .
Like David Coverdale Jeff's voice is hard to listen to ( like nails on a chalkboard) when trying to hit the notes he once could on more demanding songs .
Just listen to these same songs ( not to mention the entire show) from 5 man acoustical jam release .
Night and day people.
That show was as if they never knew they were being recorded; just having a good time, kicking back, relaxed, talking to the audience and to each other.
It made you want to be there .
That show makes you feel good every time you hear it.
This show sounds like they all want to get thru the set so they can get back on the bus and go to sleep because they are tired of being on the road.

I would have rather had them put their efforts into the replugged release and try to make its horrible production sound better.

Save That Goodness

Love this song! It's making me so excited for their next studio album

Save That Goodness is not Good but GREAT

Best song Tesla have written since Bust A Nut!! They need to make an entire album of this 90's Tesla sound.


Formed: 1985 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Tesla emerged during the glory days of hair metal, the band's music was equally indebted to contemporary blues and '70s-style hard rock, a fusion that helped differentiate albums like The Great Radio Controversy from its contemporaries. Despite the refreshing lack of posturing, Tesla was hit just as hard as the rest of the pop-metal world when grunge arrived in the early 1990s. They did produce one of the era's more respectable bodies of work, however, including three consecutive platinum-selling...
Full Bio
Mechanical Resonance (Live), Tesla
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Customer Ratings


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