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SoulMonster

1991.08.09 - Entertainment Weekly - 22 Minutes of Music Per Year

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1991.08.09 - Entertainment Weekly - 22 Minutes of Music Per Year

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:09 am

22 MINUTES OF MUSIC PER YEAR: GN'R ON RECORD

Talk about unprolific: over the course of 5 years, Guns N' Roses have released only 22 songs. But those tracks encompass flat out rockers, uneasy lullabies, and epochal castles of sound, more stylistic maneuvers than most bands accomplish in a career. A few questions about the band's ultimate worth remain unanswered: For instance, are Slash's wah wah guitar hurricanes innovative, or despite their power merely a salad-bar smorgasbord of rock guitar cliches? Even so, the Gunners' abbreviated discography (in all one album, one lengthy EP, one song on a soundtrack, another on a charity compilation and a new single) is a force to be reckoned with.
Appetite for Destruction
"I got something I been building up inside" sings Axl Rose on "Out ta Get Me", and over the course of this tour de force debut, he and the band let it out, making hard rock platitudes -- pop star as outlaw, drug references, the fed up voice of society's underdog -- sound fresh and relevant. You could also credit the album's success to timing (competition was scarce), marketing, songs that stuck to your gut ("Paradise City" and "Welcome to the Jungle") and producer Mike Clinks sonic-rush production, just don't forget the ways Slash's guitar veers from sounding like a soothing violin to imitating a castrated jungle beast in "Sweet Child O' Mine".
(Grade: A)
GN'R Lies
Appetite had been riding the charts for nearly two years, and with no second album even remotely in sight, the band filled in the gap by releasing this eight-song toss-off, which combines their 1986 EP Live?!*@ Like A Suicide (originally release on an independent label) with four new acoustic tracks. On their old cuts, the young club band nearly careens off the stereo with manic energy, if not originality. The new material is more problematic: The mantra-like Patience is one of the band's most delciate moments but on the notorious One in A Million, Rose, spitting out epithets like nigger and faggot, comes of as inexcusably racist and homophobic.
(grade: B)
Knockin' on Heaven's Door (on the Days of Thunder Soundtrack)
Who else could pull off the upteenth cover of Bob Dylan's ode to the Billy the Kid's murder? These guys, of course, who use the song's resigned, ready to meet my maker tone to embellish their fast-lane image, while putting their own steamroller stamp on it.
(grade B+)
Civil War (from Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal)
An old-fashioned protest song: Axl railing against "the world we're killing" when "we feed the rich and bury the poor" during wartime. But as seven monolithic minutes build to a tense, moving crunch, there's nothing retro about it. Hearing this is like taking a long hike up a mountain -- when you make it to the top the view is breathtaking.
(grade A)
You Could Be Mine (on the Terminator 2: Judgement Day Soundtrack)
The first official tidbit to be released from the long-delayed dual albums Use Your Illusion I and II, this is a return to the band's bludgeoning metal roots. The melody isn't one of their most shining, but a ferocious Rose yowl redeems it.
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