Tesla – Mechanical Resonance, Live!


Can you recreate the magic of an 80’s classic live in 2016? At times, yes….

Released on 26th August 2016 through Frontiers Records and reviewed by Stephen Brophy

One of the best debut releases ever and still an album that gets regular airplay on my systems, Mechanical Resonance, believe it or not, was released thirty years ago. The fact that a number of tracks from this album still remain as mainstays in the band’s live set to this day is testimony enough of just how damn good they are. ‘Modern Day Cowboy’, ‘Comin’ Atcha Live’, ‘Lil Suzie’ and ‘Ez Come Ez Go’ are all top class songs in their own right, but having released such an excellent album in Simplicity in 2014 and while they are working on a new studio album for release in 2017, here’s a nice surprise.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album’s release, Sacremento’s premier rockers Tesla and Frontiers Records have gotten together once again to release a live album of Mechanical Resonance in full with the added bonus of a brand new song tagged onto the end. This band is not unaccustomed to live releases, be they full electric or acoustic shows, but this is a little different. A full and classic album recorded with some tracks not having seen the light of day in a live arena for many years, you never quite know how the dynamic will work. Let’s make no bones about it, Tesla are one of the best live rock bands out there, they always put on a brilliant show, and capturing that seems to be more and more difficult. Many live albums these days are just far too clean and cut the atmosphere out in the final recording.

The album was recorded – well, certainly partially – in Salt Lake City, and is portrayed here maybe not in the order that the songs were played that night, but it flows as the album should and nothing really sounds out of place. As always Jeff Keith’s voice is absolutely unmistakeable, a unique sound that hasn’t been emulated or bettered over those 30 years, the man still has it today and can still surprise a crowd seeing the band for the first time.

The new track ‘Save That Goodness’, which was written and produced by Phil Collen of Def Leppard, manages to sound like a Tesla song, which is great, a decent rocker with a kind of a country twang to it, maybe a little slower than a lot of the material we expect from Tesla, but it works pretty well here. It will be interesting to see how the new album develops and what direction they have decided to proceed. All in all this will make another nice addition to a fan’s Tesla collection. It sounds really good, has the bonus track and it’s really hard to go wrong with the tracks from an album as good as Mechanical Resonance, but for me it’s a little too clean in places, maybe.

Tesla – Mechanical Resonance Live8 out of 10

Track list:

  1. Rock Me To The Top
  2. Ez Come Ez Go
  3. Gettin’ Better
  4. Comin’ Atcha Live
  5. Changes
  6. Before My Eyes
  7. 2 Late 4 Love
  8. We’re No Good Together
  9. Love Me
  10. Cover Queen
  11. Lil Suzie
  12. Modern Day Cowboy
  13. Save That Goodness (Bonus Track)