You keep hearing it everywhere you turn, but maybe the world really has been turned upside down. Not only has Guns 'N Roses' "Chinese Democracy" - the title song from the album that has been delayed longer than the Chicago Cubs' next World Series championship - been released to radio, but hold on to your top hats, it's actually good.
Axl Rose is in fine growl, wisely avoiding any attempt to hit those Appetite for Destruction high notes. However, especially on the screaming solo at the bridge, the bluesy, industrial-tinged guitars do recall G 'N R's glory days. Although only God and Axl probably know who actually played those guitars.
Stream the song here, courtesy of New York City radio station Q104.3. Is too much to ask for a Houston station to play stuff like this and AC/DC's "Rock N Roll Train"? Hello, Clear Channel...
Although Rocks Off supposes "Democracy" is nominally about oppression in the world's most populous nation (something about an "iron fist"), the lyrics seem to be Axl's response to those people - the entire world, pretty much - who have been nagging him to release the record already: "All I've got is precious time," "It don't really matter - guess I'll just keep it to myself," and so forth. There's also a reference to masturbation, which probably explains the extended delay more than anything.
Still, nice job, Axl. Now, about that album... wait a minute. Rocks Off just got an email swearing Chinese Democracy will be available on CD, vinyl and digitally at Best Buy November 23. Pre-orders start today at www.bestbuy.com/chinesedemocracy. Will wonders never cease? - Chris Gray