Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 8/10/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
GUNS N’ ROSES – “This I Love” (2008)
It wasn’t long after the release of Appetite For Destruction that I believed that Guns N’ Roses would soon become my favorite band. That feeling was confirmed with the release of Use Your Illusion I and II. Although, to be fair, I did believe that Use Your Illusion would have been better had it been a single album featuring the best songs from each. But, I digress.
Aside from the release of The Spaghetti Incident? (a GNR album of cover songs), no new material was released until 2008’s Chinese Democracy. By the time that the album finally came out (nearly a decade after its intended date), GNR was a shell of itself, and felt more like an Axl Rose solo album under the GNR moniker. Like many GNR fans, I never gave Chinese Democracy a chance. Truth be told, I never even listened to the album.
Recently, SiriusXM launched a (temporary) Guns N’ Roses station dedicated to the band’s music, influences, live performances, and deeper album cuts. While listening to the station, I heard Duff McKagan announce “This I Love” as a “rare track.” His introduction left me intrigued, and the song ended up being really good.
When I looked the song up for more details, I found that it was featured on Chinese Democracy. The fact that a regular album cut can be classified as “rare” says all that you need to know about the reception that it got from fans. Could you imagine any of the tracks off of Appetite For Destruction being referred to as rare? Or even one from either Use Your Illusion album for that matter?
“This I Love” is the same vein as “Don’t Cry” (the better, more popular version). Because of the strong piano presence, it also conjures up memories of “November Rain.” If you never heard the original GNR, this song definitely would make you stand up and take notice. It probably would have also been a good fit on Use Your Illusion. However, this power ballad (for many) is similar to the old adage…”if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?”
The current GNR resurgence (and SXM station) has opened up my mind to listen to different material from the band. If not for the reunion, there’s a decent chance that I never would have even heard “This I Love.” If you’re a GNR fan that ignored Chinese Democracy, you should check this one out to see what you missed.
SLASH – “Back From Cali” (2010)
Although I admittedly ignored GNR during the Chinese Democracy days, my appreciation of Slash never waned. From Velvet Revolver to Slash’s Snakepit, and eventually his solo work with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Slash always delivered.
At this point in time, it seems like he and Kennedy have always worked together on his solo projects, but the duo actually recorded only two tracks together the first time around on Slash’s self-titled 2010 release. The album featured a number of guest appearances from legendary vocalists, but the songs that left the biggest impression on me where with Kennedy.
Choosing one to feature in this forum was no easy feat because they are both stellar tracks. “Back From Cali” got a slight nod over “Starlight,” but that could change based on my mood of the moment. The odds of lightning striking twice in a lifetime is rare, but when Slash found Kennedy, it can be argued that’s exactly what happened.
For many years, I wondered what would have happened if GNR had stayed together. The union of Slash and Kennedy made me stop looking to the past while wondering what might have been, and start looking towards the future as to what could be. Based on the material that the duo has created together, it’s safe to say that the future is virtually limitless. Or, at least it would be if they were both as committed to the project as GNR was to each other during their brief heyday.
While I can’t fault Slash for reuniting with GNR, there is still a part of me that is more excited about the next material from Slash and Kennedy than this reunion. Listen to the epic, soulful, arena rock anthem that is “Back From Cali,” and you’ll see why I feel this way.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
MESHUGGAH – “Bleed” (2008)
From their sixth studio album, obZen, “Bleed” is the classic Meshuggah that always loved. These melodic/progressive death metallers always have pushed the metal envelope with their technical prowess and insane progressive compositions. The band’s musical writing styles are oftentimes polyrhythmic and syncopated, with various time signatures to the point where one would get dizzy trying to figure it out. The band has inspired the djent movement with its percussive guitar styles and have been an influence on countless metal bands to this day.
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – “The Violation” (2011)
There is no denying that classical music is the closest in composition and technical ability to metal. Case in point is Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse. Labeled as a symphonic death metal band, the group flies through “The Violation” with reckless abandon, combining clean symphony instruments and operatic vocals, with the brutality of death metal. Experience the speed and intensity of Fleshgod Apocalypse. and just be floored by their technical musicianship.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
CRAZY LIXX – “Dr. Hollywood” (2007)
Glam metal band Crazy Lixx burst onto the Swedish metal scene in 2002, committed to reviving the ‘80s hard rock sound. With a lively balancing of energy and grit, they released their debut album, Loud Minority, in 2007. This track is a favorite from that album.
CRAZY LIXX – “Blame It On Love” (2010)
With a new guitarist and a new record label, Crazy Lixx returned in 2010 with New Religion, the album that included this amazing ballad. Since then, they’ve released three more albums, including this year’s Ruff Justice. Three songs from that release are featured in the horror video game, Friday the 13th: The Game.