Axl Rose is killing me
Ok, you know about Axl I am sure. I must have written about him too many times here. I pretend to hate him, I pretend to be disgusted, which I am. However, I can't turn away. I must know what is happening. See, the problem is this... he helped make the greatest rock record ever. EVER. Other problem is, he is the biggest waste of talent on the planet.
anyhow, any Guns and Roses fan knows that Axl fired the entire band... and kept the name. Also, you may know that the new Guns album is 13 years in the making. at 15 million, the supposed 'Chinese Democracy' is already the most expensive album in history. That says a lot, considering it doesn't exist yet.
Anyhow, things are happening very fast in the Guns camp right now... Axl has surfaced. In every report, he is carrying and playing and handing out the new Guns album. That didn't mean too much to me, because we have been hearing this for 13 years now. Recently, big things happened: Spin published a review. The irony of Spin getting the scoop is a whole 'nother major saga for another time. Just research the story about 'get in the ring, motherfucker' if you want to know about that. Anyhow, the Spin review is here.
Well, it was. The link is dead now, but it wasn't. I read it myself, freakin' out. Really, I want to say I don't care what Axl does. I want to say I will NOT buy the disc when it comes out. That would be a lie, though. Here is what the scoop is, apparently the Spin review was a HOAX. Yeah, I got punk'd. When it comes to rock, this simply never happens. That would explain why the link is dead now. Well done, Spin. The good news is that after sifting through hundreds of articles in the last few years I can tell you this:
1. Chinese Democracy will come out likely in 2006
2. It will be good
3. It might be great
the rumours say the disc will be out in April or May. Those are wrong. I know because if those dates were accurate the discs would have been shipped already. Also, you can expect Rolling Stone to burrow so far up Axl's ass that this release will not sneak by quietly. I can also tell you I have heard several of the songs off the new disc, and am listening to them now. How? Well, internet piracy of course.
See, in classic Axl style, the band has toured three or four times on the new album in the last several years (remember Axl at the VMAs with the cornrows?). Of course, after 2 or 3 dates each tour was canceled and riots ensued. The beauty is that much of these aborted shows were caught on tape. So, here is what I have and what I know:
Chinese Democracy: (recorded live in France)
opens with a cool Skynyrd riff, but doesn't really climb like Madagascar does. The hook is something about 'it don't really matter'. Live, the guitar work sucks ass but the bass work is impressive. I can't tell you more, because in the last 13 years 1400 people have been in the band. Shit, for all I know... I may be on that disc.
This is what we have been waiting for and expecting. This is an epic in the vain of November Rain and Don't Cry. What I am listening to is definately a studio track, but might not be the original. The track is listed as 'remix' and who can tell. This is just classic epic G&R from the Illusion days, with guitar riffs kiked from Slash all day long. Did I use 'kike' right? It wasn't meant to be a semitic slander... just slang. This song clocks in at about 7 minutes, with even the obligatory weird spoken word piece that breaks up Civil War and Don't Cry for no good reason. If they tighten up this song, and the sonics... it has VH1 written all over it.
Oh My God
Wasn't this on the 'End of Days' soundtrack? I don't know, I shy away from Arnold soundtracks. Anyhow, the listings imply this will be on the disc. It isn't great at all. It is heavy and fast, but in a forced way. Plus, Axl is using some stupid voice effect. One good point, the drumming on this song is insanely impressive. This one clocks in a 3:42, and reeks of 'filler' to me. Why does it seem like every song Axl finds a new way to disguise his voice? His voice is amazing! His voice defines rock and roll, truly. My only theory would be that his voice has depleted over the years. However, as a rock and roll expert... I know that hasn't happened. The only thing singers lose consistantly with age is ability to hit super high notes. So, Axl can still sing... he is just kinda hiding.
another three and a half minutes of... what the fuck? I mean, what the fuck? The band work is great. Then, half way through the song Axl starts ranting like he just walked into the room and found his royalty checks not alphabetized. To be fair, this track is live. 'Oh what can I do, to a bitch like you'. Yeah, let's go ahead and categorize this as suck ass.
This I love
ok, something meaty to discuss. We have an 8 minute rockin' well produced studio track. very cool guitar work, done by anyone of about 13 people (Gilby Clarke, Brian May, Robin Finke, Buckethead... you get the idea). The song is also classic G&R from the Illusion era. Axl is singing well, and not hiding. Somehow he thrives in these longform environments. It reminds me of Robert Plant. His best work was when we was able to stretch out and get limber. oops, weirdo bridge jammed into the middle of the song for NO reason. It is a ragga jam from hell that sings 'baby's got a locomotive, baby's gone off the track. Gotta peel the bitch off my back'. Fortunately, decent guitar carries the piece away sharply.
So, why does every song include the word 'bitch'? I mean, I kinda not really understand if you are a 20 year old millionaire drug addict how that might be the kinda girls you find yourself around. However, as a 40 year old millionaire super recluse... what the fuck do you know about.
Nevermind. I told you I am too attached to this story, and I am drinking. Let's get back to the Chinese Democracy tracks that I have.
ok, we are still listening to 'This I love' (not by choice) and we are in a piano outtro jam mode made famous by Skynryd in 'Free Bird' and most important sounds like a note for note rip off of everything Slash has done with the band. That is what is insulting... The guitar work genuinely sounds like Slash.
ok, there are now too many rumors to ignore. There are many indications the original band (or at least Slash) are going to do shows as Guns & Roses this summer. Many stories have Slash walking out and quitting Velvet Revolver this weekend. Also, the band is suing the shit out of each other as usual. Also, Axl has a 15 million dollar album to promote. Putting the band back together is really the only choice. Oh, and them hating each other means nothing. I just saw Motley Crue again this weekend and each member of the band has seperate tour buses. At no point in time does the band interact with each other outside of that 90 minutes on stage. More to follow, but start with these links which will self update.