|If you arrive at this album looking for Guns 'N' Roses or Stone Temple Pilots you are not going to get it. Instead, you will get the most magical combination of the two. Velvet Revolver is not trying to follow in the footsteps of their previous projects, they are trying to create something new, something to revive mainstream rock 'n' roll. "Contraband" is filled with the remnants of bands heard before, but it retains that sense of fresh and new that it aims for. Weiland's voice tranforms itself from the lighter, later years of STP into a squealing, growling voice to be reckoned with. And though the lyrics don't match the strength of his previous outings, the emphasis here is on the bigger picture.
The boys of GNR fame, Slash, Duff and Matt, follow Weiland's lead nicely, maintaining the loud, unapologetic rock that listeners have come to expect from them. Newcomer Dave Kushner adds a fresh face to the line-up.
"Contraband"'s highlights include the first single "Slither," and the balladesque "Fall to Pieces" in which Weiland's voice details his past with a distinct vulnerability, and emotion to match.
Though Velvet Revolver does not want to be seen as a "super group," that is just what they are. But, in the same vein of power that Audioslave produced before them, Velvet Revolver has the opportunity to make a name for themselves independent of their past.
|review by Ashley Graham|