Top positive review
Guns 'N' Revolver
on 17 January 2015
Guns ‘N’ Roses, eh? Discuss. For a spell they were the biggest band going, filling stadia worldwide with millions of adoring fans and selling millions of copies of everything they produced. For me personally, they will always retain a place in my memory as the first gig I ever went was one by G ’N’ R, at Wembley Stadium.
Like many acts of that era, they were a volatile grouping, with one member leaving before they ever released a record and the line up changing several times even while they were at their best. Subsequently, however, Guns ‘n’ Roses largely vanished. One huge line up change saw singer Axl Rose retain the Guns ‘N’ Roses name, but none of the original members. Supposedly the band still exist, but "Chinese Democracy" took 15 years to arrive and the follow up is already 3 years after rumour said it might appear.
Three members of the great Guns ‘N’ Roses line up have not been as idle, though. Slash, Duff and Matt Sorum got together with former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland and set about doing what Axl hadn’t managed and produce an album of new material. The result is Velvet Revolver and their album “Contraband”. But will it sound right without Axl’s trademark whine over the top?
Rock music has had a rough ride in recent years, particularly with its biggest band being a novelty act like the Darkness. However, this harks back to the days when stadium rock was the biggest thing going. It’s not quite good enough to be able to say that the old sounds are making a comeback, but it’s a lesson to any young rock band in how things used to be, and should be, done.
Fans of either of the bands that Velvet Revolver’s members came from are not going to be disappointed with “Contraband”, although it’s Guns ‘N’ Roses fans who are going to find more they can cling on to than Stone Temple Pilots fans. Hardcore G ‘N’ R fans are likely to be disappointed, as there’s enough differences to suggest that while Velvet Revolver may not have their own distinctive sound as yet, they’ll get one with the next album. But, then, if you want a new G ‘N’ R album, you need to give Axl Rose a kick in the backside and tell him to release it.
For those who remember G ‘N’ R fondly, or for anyone who enjoyed the rock music of the 1990s, you can’t do much better than this album for an hour of nearly top class rock music. The good old days weren’t always good, but some of them were, and this album is a great reminder of those days.
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