CD Review: Velvet Revolver

Libertad RCA
Music •••½ Sound •••½
These guys - guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum, all refugees from Guns N' Roses, plus second guitarist Dave Kushner and former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland - have now made their second album in 3 years. Which, y'know, is pretty remarkable for such a supposedly mercurial band - especially considering that, in the same time frame, Axl Rose probably did nothing more than change a comma on his 15-years-(and counting)-in-the-making Chinese Democracy.

"Oh, god," I can hear you saying. "Enough with the Axl grinding!" And you're right. After all, here's what Slash himself has to say about all this, and about the significance of the album title Libertad (Liberty, or Freedom), in the band's bio: "The word has a lot of meaning considering where the band is coming from. We've been up against it from Day 1. People have tried to pick us apart, make Velvet Revolver all about Guns or all about STP. Some people didn't want to see us leave the past behind by committing to this new project. Some people said we wouldn't be able to find a singer, we wouldn't be able to keep it together to record an album, we'd fall apart on the road. But we're past all that now. We wrote a bunch of really inspired songs, we're excited to get out on the road, and we've maintained our dignity and a positive attitude. The dust has settled, and we're standing tall. This record has liberated us."