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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Axl Rose creates new sound, leaves Guns N’ Roses behind”

    Seven grueling years of hissy fits and “”drunk and disorderly”” charges later, Axl Rose’s brainchild, Chinese Democracy, finally hit shelves in America on Sunday.

    There should be a disclaimer written on the front of Chinese Democracy: Warning, this is not a Guns N’ Roses album. The GNR that produced such legendary rock hits as “”Welcome to the Jungle”” and “”Sweet Child of Mine”” vanished long ago, after an apparent falling out between singer Axl Rose (fun fact: his name is an anagram of Oral Sex) and long-time guitar hero Slash. Along with the band’s staple bassist Duff McKagen and drummer Matt Sorum, Slash went off to join the punk outfit Velvet Revolver with mild success; Rose kept his dreams of Chinese Democracy afloat by commissioning the guitarist from Nine Inch Nails, rhythm master Bumblefoot and a slew of other rockers-for-hire. The result is an eclectic, industrial twist on the old GNR style that will repel longtime fans while inviting scores of new ones.

    Rose’s dominating influence over this album is apparent on every track. His legendary half-growling, half-moaning vocal style is reprised after seven years with the same impressive range from GNR classics. Unfortunately, this is about the only part of the band’s style that has remained static, and something crucial just feels missing without Slash’s decisive guitar shredding. Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck performs admirably on tracks like “”There was a Time”” and “”I.R.S.,”” and a guitar cameo by the mysterious Buckethead on the track “”Sorry”” is a welcome surprise, but these are far from enough to hook old fans on the band’s new, slightly darker, slightly more annoying style.

    It’s hard not to compare Chinese Democracy to Black Ice, the newest album from old-school rockers AC/DC. Both albums are almost a decade older than their predecessors, but where AC/DC remained entirely true to their roots, GNR adapted to modern rock trends, departing from the style that made them famous. It’s a gutsy move, but it’ll pay off in the form of legions of young audiences flocking to GNR shows for years to come; AC/DC will just have to settle for being the greatest rock band ever as they retire in peace.

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