Valor, Experience and Flare
What do you get when Guns â€šÃ„Ã²N Roses drop a bloated Axl Rose and Stone Temple Pilotâ€šÃ„Ã´s Scott Weiland finally decides to clean up and start singing again? Not only do you get an ecstatic group of fans, but the rockinâ€šÃ„Ã´, head-banginâ€šÃ„Ã´ surge of Velvet Revolver.
â€šÃ„ÃºContrabandâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is an appropriate title for the mish-mash groupâ€šÃ„Ã´s debut album, as many of the songs deal with taboo issues. One of these issues primarily being Weilandâ€šÃ„Ã´s long-running spat with drug addiction. The album sounds like a mix of newly influential Indie Rock sound modes, [old] grungy Janeâ€šÃ„Ã´s Addiction, and a more pissed-off Stone Temple Pilots, all tempered with the Guns â€šÃ„Ã²N Roses metal edge without the cheesy hair-band sound. The listeners also get to see a side of Weiland thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s not usually shown. In songs such as â€šÃ„ÃºYou Got No Right,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and the humorously titled yet sweetly melodic â€šÃ„ÃºLoving the Alien,” he sings in a rich, fluid voice with as much emotion as any singer has ever been able to muster. One of the most exciting tracks on the album is the last â€šÃ„Ãºhiddenâ€šÃ„Ã¹ track. This is a cover of punk forefathers Sex Pistolsâ€šÃ„Ã´ â€šÃ„ÃºBodies,” put forth with as much energy as the Pistols in their prime.
Songs with such content as abortion, violence and drug abuse walk a fine line that is easily crossed. It takes a band with the valor to walk the line, the past experience of having walked it, and the flare to do it in an enjoyable manner to get their point across. Velvet Revolver is able to strut down that line with a fan base of millions to support their cause.