Contraband review by Velvet Revolver

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  • Released: Jun 8, 2004
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (155 votes)
Velvet Revolver: Contraband
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Sound — 10
Contraband is the debut album of super-group Velvet Revolver. Their sound is different from the members' older bands (Stone Temple Pilots/Guns N' Roses), so don't expect November Rain and Interstate Love Song. However, it's a great sound all its' own. You'll get the groovy riffery of Slash coupled with the grainy grunge voice of Scott Weiland. This album is mostly hard rock, with small glimmers of ballad-type radio songs. It's a sound that you can really latch onto, since it's an overall "fun" album. It's full of straight rock songs, typical bar stuff and car-singing, shower-singing, basically anywhere. It's catchy, groovy, and one of the few remaining solid rock bands of the decade.

Lyrics — 9
Scott Weiland's work in Velvet Revolver is pretty similar to his Stone Temple Pilots stuff, but it has small differences. You'll hear more of his higher-pitched vocal parts and more upbeat stuff in VR that was in small doses in Stone Temple Pilots, which was one of the big 90's grunge bands. The lyrics go pretty well with the music, it's the whole "badass" package. Weiland can still sing, and his style is still somewhat in tact enough to keep STP fans, but won't really convert people that didn't like STP. It's solid, can get annoying at times, but his voice is solid still, and he can still write some great songs.

Overall Impression — 9
Velvet Revolver's follow-up "Libertad" came out in between the release of Contraband and the writing of this review, so it's hard to really compare. I'd say it's better than Libertad though. I really like "Big Machine", "Slither", and "Fall to Pieces". They actually did a good job of picking the radio/TV singles, and they haven't really gotten "played-out" or boring despite hearing them thousands and thousands of times. I love the kickass sound they have, but like I said some people may be turn off by Weiland's style, and some people might even get bored of it by the end of the album even if they like it. I personally like it a lot, so I whole heartedly recommend this album. It's a great modern rock album, something pretty scarce nowadays.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    kfong03
    anyone think loving the alien sounds like wonderful by stp...by the way love both bands...but stp is my no.1
    chaoticfables
    fruit lover wrote: I actually like velvet revolver better then gnr
    Basically the same lol! Just without Axl... and modernised.
    tcangusyoung123
    If you can take Velvet Revolver in this modern day context and not compare them to Guns n Roses or Stone Temple Pilots, then they totally kickarse. This is a ****ing mad album considering the bullshit that comes out today.
    SG-Burchett
    yeah, this is a great album. there's so much c*** out with emo and indie bands releasing this mass produced, boring rubbish they call music, which is mostly chords played by gimps playing telecasters that look stupid when they are played with the strap up high. that's not rock even if you don't like sound, at least this album sounds like it has soul. the words are sung like they actually mean something- particularly on greats like slither, fall to pieces, illegal i song, spectacle, big machine, do it for the kids and loving the alien
    JackWhiteIsButts
    Well, I must say it's pretty much what I was expecting with a sort of GNR & STP merger, but it's still better than most of the bands I hear today. I think Weiland's vocals/lyrics are the weakest part of their music, and he's by no means bad.
    Contraband
    Holy shit, I thought this album was good. God, I was an idiot in 2005. As can also be seen by this username...
    05McDonaldT
    SG-Burchett wrote: yeah, this is a great album. there's so much c*** out with emo and indie bands releasing this mass produced, boring rubbish they call music, which is mostly chords played by gimps playing telecasters that look stupid when they are played with the strap up high. that's not rock even if you don't like sound, at least this album sounds like it has soul. the words are sung like they actually mean something- particularly on greats like slither, fall to pieces, illegal i song, spectacle, big machine, do it for the kids and loving the alien
    You're very right. I mean just look at Arctic monkeys
    AnTz!!!
    I love many tracks of this album...but it's unbelivable what has headspace has done to my mind....I find it a hard rock hymn...excelent work from the veterans!!
    fendercobain87
    this was a stright up in your face album slash's guitar playing was on spot, this album was probaly the best rock album to come ou in 2004.
    benthegrunge
    this is like a generic hard rock album, like a bad parody of a legends band. obviously i like slither, sucker train blues,fall 2 pieces, but overall no one can say this is an interesting, avante garde record