GUNS ‘N’ ROSES – CHINESE DEMOCRACY
I just finished doing an interview for Rock Sound, the UK music Magazine. It went well, the dude Alex, was pretty cool and asked good questions. Lately I’ve been really busy staying up on the PR trip that Relapse has lined up. The record will be out in February so we’re all focused on doing a good job on the tasks at hand A while back, Ralph Planks sent me mp3’s of the new Guns ‘n’ Roses Record “Chinese Democracy.” It’s Saturday afternoon, and I don’t really have much going on until we load into Death by Audio later tonight, so now seemed like as good a time as any to check it out and see what’s what.
So far, I’ve made it through the title track “Chinese Democracy”, “Shackler’s Revenge” and “Better.” I have to admit that the title track is rather catchy. It would be a huge single if it was 1991, but hey, it’s 2008. The other material is a real drag.
I’m looking at a list of people involved with the making of this record. Tommy Stinson from the Replacements played bass. There’s three guys credited with lead guitar: Buckethead, Bumblefoot and Robin Finck. Dizzy Reed is back; he’s been a “member” of GnR since 1990. There’s a guy listed as rhythm guitar, another keyboard player and this session drummer named Frank Ferrer who is an “official” member of the band. I wonder if Buckethead ripped his solo’s wearing that ridiculous get-up that you see him wearing in all of the photos when he was cutting his tracks on the record.
“If the World” is playing and I can feel the douche-chills creeping up on me. I actually feel bad for Axl because this record sucks so abysmal. I feel bad until I remember that he is a multi-millionaire and this is his vanity record. The whole thing sounds like a bedroom production made by a 22-year-old guy that’s never played in a band before, except millions of dollars were spent on this. It’s a testament to US Decadence.
Did this record really need to be made?
I’m skipping ahead now. I can’t even make it throw a whole song at this point.
I saw GnR play with Aerosmith back in the 80’s at a racetrack in Upstate New York. It was summer time and they went on just as the sun was setting. It was the original lineup with Slash, Izzy, Axl, Steven Adler and Duff; “Appetite for Destruction” had been out for a few months and this was one of their earlier tours as a supporting band. I was never a fan of the “hair metal” bands of the 80’s but GnR caught my interest because they had a harder vibe and sort of a darker trip going on that say Ratt or Crue. They were everything I expected them to be that night: full of attitude, kind of sloppy and most likely on drugs.
When you listen to “Appetite” you’re listening to a band. If you choose to listen to “Chinese Democracy” you’re getting a simulation of a band. It’s a product manufactured for mass-consumption. The classic GnR were a rock ‘n’ roll band that rehearsed in a practice space somewhere, played gigs and eventually broke up.
At this point, I have lost interest in this record completely. It’s not a Guns ‘n’ Roses album. Axl should have just called it AXL.