Tesla - Into The Now
Into The Now is the fifth studio effort from a band that is perhaps best known for their live album Five Man Acoustical Jam (1990) (highly recommended by the way) and a couple of album from the end of the eighties. I had no expectations on a band that released the poorly Bust A Nut (1994) with a cover of Games People Play, that song stunk and as more or less the entire album was bad I gave up on Tesla at that point, so it was with careful enthusiasm I put Into The Now in my stereo.
Just by listening a few seconds the first question rose up; were Tesla ever this heavy?, not as I recall it and it doesnt take much longer before I realise that this album is gonna be a good one. Tesla is in the school of traditional American hardrock typical for the time around the late eighties and early nineties with a hint of sleaze rock and one foot in or merely flirting with seventies rock as well as southern rock. It is a surprisingly hard and heavy Tesla that has returned and the song material is much stronger than what I could have guessed at the same time it feels more matured than earlier, I believe the heavier approach is necessary, otherwise it would be hard for them to make themselves heard again and I for one embrace that step.
Naturally the heavy start doesnt hold up for the entire album since there's has to be made room for some slower songs and ballads as well, which all of isn't to my likening but Tesla is actually one band that has had the ability to write some good ballads. Into The Now has most in common with Psychotic Supper in many ways, several of the tracks could have easily traded places with each other and it still would have sound natural, and the sound in the production also has similarities even if Into The Now is a heavier and with a more compact soundpicture, there is still a mood that is similar to Psychotic Supper.
Surprisingly high quality throughout the entire album even though some of the twelve songs got to serve as fill outs, and it is hard to find any real hits that stick out above the others, the heavy and filled with frustration Heaven Nine Eleven or the hum along friendly What a shame could perhaps serve as those but it would have been nice to have seen a Hang Tough (The Great Radio Controversy 1989) or Edison's Medicine (Man Out Of Time) (Psychotic Supper 1991).
Musically there isn't really any astonishing to report about, nothing fancy just a modern sound with the distinguished Tesla marks and good quality guitar work with heavier riffing than earlier, the strength of Tesla lies more in the band than in the individual musician.