Some musicians are just gluttons for punishment. Take former Guns N' Roses members Duff McKagan, Slash and Matt Sorum. The three Axl survivors have joined forces with Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland in the band Velvet Revolver. A very talented cast, rounded out by the comparatively bland Dave Kushner of Wasted Youth, but the lineup forces us to wonder which former Gunner has a predilection toward loudmouth-asshole frontmen. (We're betting on all three.) The new album, Contraband, was delayed by Weiland's ongoing troubles with the needle and the law, and the current tour required the singer's conditional release from court-ordered rehabilitation facilities. Drama aside, this Revolver is loaded with high-caliber ammunition: The songs are hollow-point bullets with plenty of stopping power -- make that stomping power --forged from gutter punk and abrasive hard rock. "Set Me Free," Revolver's contribution to The Hulk soundtrack, whetted appetites for the band's raw sound and unfettered presentation. The appeal was so strong, in fact, that RCA exec Clive Davis was personally involved in recruitment efforts -- an occurrence as rare as a profound statement from Jessica Simpson. Even lighter pieces in Revolver's arsenal pack an old-school mentality and a bluesy afterburn that you don't have to be a ballistics expert to appreciate.
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