Hollywood Rose - The Roots Of Guns N' Roses
(Deadline) Killer kollectable here for anybody into GN'R (perhaps you've heard of them?), Hollywood Rose is an elegant reissue of the pre-GN'R demo that features Axl, Izzy and two Pete Bests called Johnny Kreis and Chris Weber. It is elegant, because it looks great, including cardboard oversleeve, rare live, candid, promo, set-list and handbill photos, and a fully explanatory essay from early band manager Vicky Hamilton. The songs are provided in early demo version, and then again with a not-much-improvement remix from Gilby Clarke (two songs get Tracii Guns guitar overdubs) and then all five once again with a hot-clocking, hi-fidelity remix from Cinderella drummer Fred Coury, who (surprise) turns up and tightens up the drums, an improvement much welcome in that curiously three of the five tracks are quick, snappy, punky double-bass rippers. Of these, Shadow Of Your Love is the best, due to a memorable chorus, but then Killing Time and Anything Goes could have easily slotted into Appetite For Destruction, both of them funky, complicated, and high-wined by Axl. In a word, this is riveting stuff, not crap, and very much a facsimile of early GN'R. Sure, it's five tracks repeated three times, but it's damn important all the same.
Motorhead - Inferno
This thing just gets hotter and hotter, like a raging... OK, enough silly spin. But fact is, after awful opener Terminal Show, I was rolling my eyes, with visions of Phil slashing at these lazy chords, skipping around the stage. Killers is an improvement, but we've heard it all before. Then... boom! In The Name Of Tragedy finds the band pummeling and metalizing and grinding out a true artful Motorhead classic. Suicide kinda drags again (through a No Class riff), albeit with a dark and bloody chorus, and then the whole rest of the album is downright charming at all speeds addressed. The production is crushing, lots of drums, guitars, bass in its place (as far as Lemmy will allow), roaring multi-tracked Lemmy vocals as needed. By the time the boogie-kicked Life's A Bitch and the vicious Down On Me arrive mid album, missteps from earlier are forgiven, In The Black being tall, dark and gruesome, Mikkey laying down his usual explosive groove. All told, there's cool variety to this thing, a few blues-derived things, a few NWOBHM-grey riffs, all delivered with fire and as importantly, additional emotional depth come chorus time: these songs all get better as the parts are rolled out. Closes with the acoustic Whorehouse Blues, which is just a little too under-arranged for my liking - a throwaway, which leaves about 45 minutes of dependable molten Motormusic, a collection subtly back to the band's roots and Lemmy's professed roots before that.
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