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Album Review

Contraband features Slash, Duff, and Matt Sorum (as well as additional guitarist Dave Kushner) cranking out an updated version of Guns N' Roses swagger behind Scott Weiland's glammy, elastic vocals. With STP's vocalist and such a high percentage of ex-Gunners, Velvet Revolver really is a supergroup. "Went too fast I'm out of luck and I don't even give a f*ck," Weiland spits on "Do It for the Kids," and a peel from Slash's arsenal backs him up. Maturity has clearly come at a price for both parties. Weiland still mugs and sings like a florescent lizard king. But his appetite for the spotlight has somehow become more voracious even as he fights cynically against it, and longs for an escape. For their part, Slash, Duff, and Co. like stirring up their old demons — check the explosive entrance on "Set Me Free" to get things a-tingling like the old days. But they're not running a nostalgia show, so there are new tricks and sounds, too, and plenty of choruses that shift into STP-style layering and vocal phrasing. The bass-heavy throb of "Big Machine"'s verses surges into a hard-charging '90s alt. rock chorus; "Headspace" alternates representative chunks of both bands' sounds with veteran skill; and "Superhuman" rants about illegal substances in language everyone can understand. Overall, Contraband sounds pretty much like you'd expect of such a collaboration. Lead single "Slither" is an immediate highlight, its gasoline-drinking cocaine strut staining it as the offspring of "Big Bang Baby" and "Nightrain", while the album's detours — "Fall to Pieces", the gorgeous "Loving the Alien" — are painted in dusty reds and browns, like idealized fever dreams of escaping to the desert with the one you love. These mediations point to the pain behind Weiland's cynical veneer, and perhaps the entire band's veteran hope for a head-clearing open space. Remember, between them they've probably seen it all. With Contraband, Velvet Revolver pull off something tidy - their music manages both hedonism and maturity. [The album was also available in a clean version.]

Customer Reviews


This has got to be one of the best records i've ever bought.This alumb keeps rocking woth songs like "Slither, Dirty Little Thing, You Got No Right, Superhuman, and Set Me Free."If you buy this record you won't be dissapointed.The only thing i don't get is why itunes has this as released in 1990,Guns n roses was still together then.


Velvet Revolver is truely the most talented group of modern day musicians you'll ever hope to hear. Beyond any doubt, their debut album is one in a million, and each song is wonderful in it's own way. 1- Sucker Train Blues- Easily my favorite song of VR. No other song could open for the album like this one. 2- Do It For the Kids- A Great song. I love Duff's line;"Went too fast, I'm out of luck, & I don't even give a F***!" 3- Big Machine- Actually, this song ties with track 1 as my favorite. Simple enough, and a real head-banging anthem to any rock fan. 4- Illegal I Song- This song shows that these boys play by nobody else's rules and say it like they feel it. Also, Matt Sorum is a beast on drums in this song! 5- Spectacle- Soon to be reffered to as, "A traditional Velvet Revolver sound." This fits in perfectly. 6- Fall To Pieces- One hell of a song! I Love its touching and soft lyrics and Slash's intricate and powerful chords. A great power-ballad. 7- Headspace- Once again, these guys tell it like they feel it. It's not great, but definatly worth buying. 8- Superhuman- It really isn't all that great. Scotts vocals; that's the only great feature of this song. 9- Set Me Free- Now, this is a real song that all can relate to. Though in the HULK soundtrack, it doesn't appear in the movie till the credits. What a shame!! 10- You Got No Right- This song's OK, but I'm not sure it fits in with the rest of the album. It's got a real nice Beatles sound to it, almost like "Hey Jude". 11- Slither- One of VR's greatest. If it doesn't appear on their greatest hits album, I'm gonna sue. This song (along with tracks 1, 3, and 9) make contraband worth buying. 12- Dirty Little Thing- It depicts a girl to absorbed in drugs and sex. Every girl in New Bedford High School can learn a lesson from this song. 13- Loving the Alien- Just like track 10, I'm not sure this song belongs here. It's beautiful, but I'd have been happier if this album ended on a harder song. They should have switched this song with "Set Me Free".

VR is the best of GnR!

But how could it not be with the core of that once great band together here? Although they felt the need to apologize for their debut album I think it is superior to the follow up Libertad. Sadly the band parted ways with their lead singer Scott Weiland but there is rumor of a new singer on the horizon, his voice will be missed. Also check out the videos from this album as well - especially "Fall to Pieces" & "Slither" - amazing! Buyers should be aware that the "black" version of the album is the "clean" editied version which is not clear at all when purchasing here on ITunes. The "white" version is the real one to get.


Formed: 2002 in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Velvet Revolver began with a spring 2002 jam session that reunited ex-Guns N' Roses bandmates Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Matt Sorum (drums) on-stage. With the discovery that their chemistry was still going strong, the trio began pushing around some new music and auditioning singers for what became known as "the Project." Early entries included ex-Buckcherry shouter Josh Todd and Neurotica's Kelly Shaefer; both became acquainted with the cutting room floor. By early 2003, the existence...
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