Slash and co. keep rock's flame burning bright...
Teddy McDonald 2007
For too long now the word ‘rock’ has been associated with wannabe angst-ridden teens. With the release of Libertad, the second album from Hollywood rockers Velvet Revolver, these so-called ‘rock’ bands have been put firmly in their place by the undisputed Kings of Rock.
From the opening riff of the ballsy, down and dirty “Let It Roll”, I defy you not to reach for your air guitar as this instantly classic riff pulses through your body. In fact, there are a whole host of top riffs peppered across the album, most notably, “Get Out The Door” written by guitarist Dave Kushner and “She Builds Quick Machines” which echoes the power of the band’s debut single, “Slither”. At the same time, the band have moved away from the more aggressive tone of their debut album, Contraband, and into something even more inspired.
One of the highlights of the album is the ballad, “The Last Fight”. While it feels odd to use the adjective ‘exquisite’ to describe any of this band’s type of full-on rock, with its haunting melody and subtle guitar line it wouldn’t feel out of place on a classic Pink Floyd album.
Scott Weiland, is an undeniably fine vocalist. His dynamic range and confidence shine through though on record it’s harder to convey his effortless showmanship that’s such a feture of the band’s live shows. Meanwhile, the heartbeat of the band is provided by the solid and precise drumming of Matt Sorum and the driving bass of Duff McKagan.
Still doing what he does best; not since Jimmy Page has a there been a guitarist who so effortlessly defines the true sound of rock like Slash. Six-string sidekick, Dave Kushner, is also an exceptional talent (who, rather interestingly, was once musical director to former Chili Pepper and Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro). The pairing of Slash and Dave has created one of the most memorable guitar-slinging double acts for decades.
Last, but not least; the production on Libertad, managed by Brendan O’Brien, is exemplary. Gone is the rather disappointing and muddied sound of the debut album, replaced here by a very crisp, powerful vibe that really captures the ‘live’ sound of the band.
Libertad is the ever-maturing sound of a truly great rock ‘n’ roll band: Let it roll!