Velvet Revolver

Libertad (RCA)

Phases & Stages

Velvet Revolver

Libertad (RCA)

Velvet Revolver takes after its mother. Three-fifths Guns N' Roses ought to make it ornery, but ex-Stone Temple Pilot Scott Weiland's vocals mulch into the middle of the mix, more rhythm than lead, the band's musical bed a grungy mire rather than metallic hellion. Libertad flips the end-run finish of the group's 2004 debut, Contraband, front-loaded and overall smoother, tighter, louder thanks to veteran producer Brendan O'Brien. Sleazy drug rock and faux glam have been replaced by STP's radio-friendly generics ("American Man," "Mary Mary"). Opener "Let It Roll," Slash's cascading riff the best of the lot, gangs up with "She Mine," hitched rodeo hop "Get Out the Door," and bucking, barreling "She Builds Quick Machines," yet another guitar thresher, while never shaking STP's DeLeo brothers brand of SoCal bland. What-where-they-thinking? cover "Can't Get It out of My Head" dims ELO even further. At close, Libertad's bonus country shamble recalls Great White's "Wasted Rock Ranger." Mama's boys.

**

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