Friday, December 5, 2008

Welcome to The Jungle

We don't stop playing because we grow old,
we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw

Take that to the bank!
Axl Rose

I am having mixed feelings about the 'new' Guns and Roses LP (and yes, it is available in vinyl format). I mean, 1st of all, it isn't GnR- and hasn't been for some time. The band broke up in the nineties- well I should actually say, Axl fired everyone in the band and made them sign contracts so he could keep using the name. At least that is what Slash's bio tells us.

The reviews are in, 1/2 good, 1/2 bad. Rolling Stone gave it 4 stars, Pitchfork Media trashed it. I have listened to most of it online and am mixed myself. I mean the title track rocks, but there seems to be a lot of ballads on it which kinda suck. The record took 14 years to make and rumour has it, some 12 million dollars- for crying out loud! How many records have been worked on that long- it should be a rock and roll masterpiece.

And then there is the almost 50 year old Axl. I should relate to him as an old guy who likes to rock myself. But there is something disturbing about the new larger Axl, the corn row hair he has been sporting for the past few years, and the fact that he pretty much dresses the same he did in 1990- open shirt/vest, scarves, mirror sunglasses. Well, I guess I kinda do too-without the mirror sunglasses, but maybe a more sophisticated version of myself in 1990. And if you see the video for Chinese Democracy (which is really some other older GnR footage played along to the music).. well it is rockin', yet really off-putting a bit.

or Bubmlefoot? Does it make a difference?

Well I avoided a trip to Best Buy last night, where I might have tricked myself into buying the record. I am not sure I want to give Axl my money. I didn't buy it, and I feel relieved this morning. Instead I listed to CFNY's Thursday Thirty ( number 12 was Chinese Democracy, by the way...) following another Sabres loss and enjoyed the new Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Kings of Leon (now they seem like a band that can rock). So no GnR hangover, thank goodness. Maybe I should just stick to the Appetite 4 Destruction and live in the past... a gentler time when the band shunned electronics, rocked hard, before axl was known as a complete ass, when Steve, Slash and Duff were still in the band.

I like the new logo, though.... I should just enjoy the time when GnR was really GnR.

EPILOGUE: I bought the record (12.07.08) and I like it. I think you have to be an old guy to really like this stuff. I have read posts and posts on this LP. I have read the hate and the love, the 'it's not G-n-R' and the 'axl is the man' cries from the fans and the enemies... whatever, I like to rock with this shit really loud! So FU!


Jason Gusmann said...

ah my friend, an entire post on the new g'n'r and no mention of tommy stinson? i don't know if i'm more ashamed of you or him.

mark said...

Ah yes, the Tommy Stinson factor. I remember when I 1st heard that Tommy was joining the Gunners years back and I thought, "what the f***?!?!?" ... but he does fit in with the heaviest of metal on this LP.

In fact, he is the only constant besides Axl on a record that includes some 18 other musicians coming and going in the 14 years in took to wrap this up. I actually like Tommy on this record, I think he somehow keeps it all together as the glue, keeping it from getting to 'way out there.'

So yes, a special shout out to Tommy! My bad.