Sound — 9
Velvet Revolver, the supergroup consisting of ex-Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, ex-Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland, and ex-Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner have created an album that blends the signature sounds of all these bands, resulting in a solid disc of hard rock. From the straight-up rocker Sucker Train Blues, to the power ballad Fall To Pieces, to the acoustic-driven Loving The Alien, this album delivers.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are pretty much typical of the hard rock genre. They deal with drugs, sex, and all the other rock and roll cliches, but of course fit with the music perfectly. Scott Weiland is a surprisingly versatile vocalist, although his true power still lies in the harder songs. This is not to say he cannot sing other styles, far from it. Loving The Alien is a fine example. This soft, almost exclusively acoustic ballad showcases a sensitive side to him that is not often displayed. All in all, an excellent effort, on all the tracks.
Overall Impression — 9
With four of the five members of Velvet Revolver being ex-GNR and STP, it is not surprising that Contraband sounds quite a bit like the releases of these bands. However, with the added presence of Dave Kushner, the band are able to create their own sound, rather than sounding like any other hard rock band. The standout songs from Contraband are Do It For The Kids, Fall To Pieces, Superhuman, Slither and Loving The Alien. There is not a whole lot wrong with this album, the guitar work gets a bit repetitive, and the vocals aren't always up to par, but this is not a problem unless you think it is your duty to pick these small imperfections. Stolen or lost? I would get another copy, because in these days of most hard rock bands sounding the same, Velvet Revolver are a breath of fresh air.