Waiting for a former key player of one of your favorite bands to release material from their solo project is like waiting to see if your new baby will come out as the next Gerber princess or a wrinkled, burping toad. It's with a big sigh of relief then that Slash's Snakepit's second release, "Ain't Life Grand," opens with stairway to hell riffs from Slash's Les Paul. Behind the top hat, the curtain of black curls, and the snarling cigarette smile, this is a guy who knows how to strike the rock 'n' roll chords. After getting the steel-toed boot out of Guns N' Roses from Axl Rose, Slash has already gone through one Snakepit vocalist and is now working with singer Rod Jackson. Of course, Jackson's Sammy Hagar raspy bravado can't come close to touching Rose's signature style, but these songs are really all about Slash anyway. The guitar god still worships beneath the wings of Aerosmith, getting bluesy one moment and basely the next in a mix that looses the GnR grit for a shot of straight up rock.