So this is what it's come to - a Guns N Roses tribute made up of the "who's who" of the current hardcore/metal scene. For the life of me, I can't tell if this CD is supposed to be one gigantic tongue wedged firmly in cheek, or if these bands are really taking themselves, and their task at hand, seriously.
Let's face it - Guns N Roses, for all their ridiculous antics, were one of the best hard rock bands to ever exist. Appetite For Destruction is virtually flawless. If you don't get goosebumps when hearing the opening guitar part to "Welcome To The Jungle," you're not a music fan. So assembling a tribute record in their name is no easy task, and I'm actually quite disappointed in the one-sidedness of the whole compilation. Sure, metal and hardcore bands seem like the obvious choice to shred up some of the GNR classics, but I refuse to believe that no other bands outside of these genres are fans of Axl and company. This is the compilation's biggest pratfall - there's no variety.
There still are some really awesome covers here, though. Zombie Apocalypse's speed read of "Welcome To The Jungle" is a blast to listen to, and Break The Silence does an admirable job with "Nighttrain," cowbell and all.
Mistakes include personal favorites Vaux, who phoned in an awkward cover of "14 Years" that feels wholly out of place [and barely ready for performance]. Most Precious Blood ruins one of the most recognizable guitar lines in rock history, using a keyboard to play the riff on an otherwise note-for-note rendition of "Sweet Child O' Mine." Bad idea, lady and gents.
Time In Malta and The Beautiful Mistake contribute the two most unique takes on Guns songs with "November Rain" and "Estranged," respectively. Neither band is afraid of the length of the songs, including all the myriad interlude parts. Time In Malta turns the end of "November Rain" into a moshing-encouraged breakdown, whereas The Beautiful Mistake go the more straightforward route, actually simplifying "Estranged" a bit.
Oh yeah, the Dillinger Escape Plan completely destroys "My Michelle." I'm not sure if it's good or bad, but it's definitely what you would expect from them.
If you're a fan of the current crop of hardcore and metal bands sweeping the nation, you'll probably be really into this compilation. If you're a huge Guns N Roses fan, this will be nothing but a letdown to you, as too many of the songs are just cardboard cutouts of the originals with nothing special worth mentioning. There is definitely some good stuff going on with this compilation, but there doesn't seem to be nearly enough sincerity involved to accurately label it as a "tribute" record. But until someone else assembles a better one, Bring You To Your Knees will have to do.
Zombie Apocalypse - Welcome To The Jungle