Okay. It's official. It's time to mourn the loss of Guns & Roses. Why now? Why a good 15 years or so since the release of Use Your Illusions 1 and 2? Because it looks like 2006 is actually going to be the release year for the nearly mythical Chinese Democracy album.
For those who don't know, Chinese Democracy is the Guns & Roses album that Axel Rose has been working on for over a decade. He has spent millions of dollars remixing, retracking, reinventing, etc. Axel and Guns had so much potential to really just own all of rock and roll and become one of the greatest bands of all time. But Axel's ego and his own sense of perfectionistic diva-esque mania led to Guns' destruction, his own Brian Wilsonish reclusive hermit status, and flushed all of their promise down the 90s drain.
Well, after an eternity without a new Guns tune, someone finally leaked the first track off of Chinese Democracy. I heard it on our local classic rock station tonight as I was driving home. And you know what? Guns & Rose are dead. In fact, I don't even think they should use the name anymore because this new stuff so seriously tarnishes the awesomeness that is Appetite for Destruction. If they'd like, they can rename themselves Axel Rose Has His Head So Far Up His Ass He Can Smell His Own Lungs. Go ahead, guys; you can have that name. It's my "welcome back" gift to you.
The new song is called "IRS" and, if you want to hear it, I'd imagine it's getting tossed around pretty freely on the peer-to-peer networks right now. Suffice it to say, it's the equivalent of digital ass. Never before have I heard a rock tune that seemed to lack more focus. To all the record producers out there who are having a hard time justifying their jobs, congrats. You just found for yourselves the new "And here's what can happen without a Producer" audio example. It's more like some sort of John Lennon multi-tracking/layering experiment than a focused rock tune. Multiple guitars are soloing around wildly while Axel wails about the IRS and the FBI. He still sounds like he's got the vocal chops, but ... the song writing, guys. The song writing ... what happened? It's just all over the place, like watching someone's house being blown around by a tornado. Sure, you can sorta' see that it was probably a house at one point or another. But in it's current state, things are flying off of it in pieces and it looks more like a mess in motion than anything welcoming and you know it's just going to land in a heap of crap when everything's over.
I just found myself wincing throughout the whole tune instead of really enjoying it like I was hoping I would. So, Guns & Roses is dead. Long live Velvet Revolver. And I can official scratch Chinese Democracy off of my "hope that gets released one day" list.
Such a disappointment ...