Velvet Revolver are an impressive act of defiance: a bandof old-school bad boys from twentieth-century megagroups who make arocket-guitar racket that is more compelling than most current woe-is-mepunk and emo. The blitz in "Let It Roll," "Get Out the Door" and "Pills, Demons & Etc." may be second nature to guys who did time in Guns n'Roses and Stone Temple Pilots, but there is plenty of thrill in thefuzz-lined hard-rubber bends of Slash's guitar breaks and the waybassist Duff McKagan keeps time, like a cop swinging a billy club. Thereis honest depth here too. Since Velvet Revolver's first album, 2004's Contraband, singer Scott Weiland lost his brother to a drug overdose — atragedy deeply etched into Weiland's fallen-dandy howl in "For a Brother," the deceptively grand ballad "The Last Fight" and, strangely,the cover of ELO's "Can't Get It Out of My Head," which may be Weiland'sway of describing the daily battles he still fights with his own darkimpulses.
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