The Roots of Guns N` Roses
Released: 2004, Cleopatra Records
Wow, a 20-year-old demo surfaces that, in effect, chronicles the beginning of Guns N’ Roses. Fuck, I’m really starting to feel old. I have, for a long time, said that when Appetite reaches its 20 year anniversary, I’m officially old as the fucking hills. Just a few million memories ago, I was a 14 year old kid, riding my bike around town with the bittersweet melodies of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” rattling through my skull. Now I’m a crusty old sea captain, writing these reviews from the middle of the Atlantic, sending ‘em out via ham radio to EvilG. Ah well, as they say, you can’t go back again. However, it is interesting to note, this demo sort of takes you back to a time and place that existed before the Sunset Strip closed its doors to young glamsters looking for fame and fortune on the streets of Hollywood.
The album title claims that this is the “roots” of Guns N’ Roses, but it’s more than that. I’d say it’s the actual genesis of GNR. Within this demo, you can really feel the raw, explosive power that crystallized so brilliantly on Appetite. Axl and Izzy were a team, of sorts, and constituted the songwriting impetus behind the very best GNR material. So it’s no wonder why Axl and Izzy’s Hollywood Rose sounds so much like the ensuing afterbirth. All this Rose needed was some extra muscle, attitude, style and sleaze. And we all know the Rose found its Guns. And we all know what happened after that. But, until now, most of us hadn’t heard the early scream of what was to become one of the world’s greatest bands. Now we have. And it is good. Highly recommended for all fans of GNR and Metallic Hard Rock.
Fave tracks: “Killing Time” and “Rocker.” These tunes are sort of in a rockin’ Priest mode. Plus, Axl uses a sloppy vibrato within these tracks. He’s not nearly up to par with a true Halford vibrato, but who is? It’s just sort of fun to hear the attempt. Also, check out the early version of “Anything Goes.” Not quite the version that appears on Appetite, but the skeleton is there.