Release Date: June 8, 2004
Reviewed by Jeff Brinn
Contraband easily has to be one of the most industry hyped rock releases of the year. Built around some of hard rocks largest superstars and with incredibly huge anticipation waiting its release, Velvet Revolver seemed as if to be a fans dream comes true. Brandishing some of the most dangerous artists including the likes of Scott Weiland, Duff McKagan, and Slash further push the beliefs that this band will reach some sort of epic proportional level of success. With rock n roll at a virtual stand still in the area of originality and true angst, one would think a band like Velvet Revolver could put a big jump start at a time so lacking in un-contrived real back to basics rock. Well Contraband is every thing expected and maybe more.
With a lethal concoction of the corrosive riffs of legendary axe slinger Slash and the raw melody of one of rocks true front men Scott Weiland, Velvet Revolver packs a mean punch to say the least. Undeniably tracks like “Slither”, “Set Me Free”, and “Big Machine” easily capture the pure chemistry and revived spark that breaths hard thru Contraband. Other hard hitting tracks like the potent “Superhuman” and “Illegal i Song” are simply diamonds in the rough proving these guys are still capable of writing true down and dirty rock anthems. The biggest surprise would have to be the obvious instant classic of the very self exposing power ballad “Falling to Pieces”. This dreamy arena gem easily shows the best of what song writing talents theses seasoned veterans can bring to the table.
Mixing traditional riff rock with a tinge of raw abrasive punk rock Velvet Revolver unleash a fire that reaches an inferno of a blaze and slowly ignites fully into the wild fire that fans were so desperate to have. Where some songs indulge the listener with an almost intoxicating feeling to them many others seem to sound oh so reminiscent of their earlier efforts in their past. Almost sounding like S.T.P. with Slash playing leads Velvet Revolver gives fans of both acts an easily likable substitute from their well worn classics of the recent past. Loud’s where Contraband really shines giving the listener a true to form, volume on ten real rock experience. Crank it up!!