First off, Reel sounds great: The band recorded it on vintage gear and (gasp) live in the studio. The liner notes, which describe why the band chose each song, are a nice touch -- as is the snazzy, eight-panel gatefold Digipak.
Musically, it's a tour through the band's longhaired FM-rock upbringing, featuring raw versions of songs by Lizzy, Robin Trower (the excellent "Day of the Eagle"), UFO, as well as Uriah Heep and freaking Montrose. There are a few too-obvious choices on the album (the Stones' "Honky Tonk Women," the James Gang's "Walk Away"), but those are atoned for with a flat-out killer take on the Tempations' "Ball of Confusion," the disc's real highlight.
For its current tour, Tesla is performing a mix of these and other covers, along with a smattering of its own hits and deep cuts.