Stone Guns n' Temple Pilots Roses.

Why doesn't Velvet Revolver kick more ass?

It's got 3/5 of the greatest band of the last 30 years, {a random dude}, and one of the better rock singers of the 90s. You'd think we'd be in store for a poor man's Cream (or, at the very least, a decent man's Sammy Hagar Van Halen). But, what we've got here is nothing short of mediocre. Believe me, there are reasons, and you want to read them.

First of all, anybody who has ears could tell that Stone Temple Pilots were slowly deteriorating into obscurity. Their first album was a 9, second album was a 7, third album was a 7.1, fourth album was a 5, and fifth album was like a 2. If they would've stuck around for a sixth, some decent soul would've been sneaking heroin into Weiland's meals until death, to spare him from embarassing himself and us from having to listen. So, it's only natural that Velvet Revolver would suck; the lead singer of any band is a major component to the overall enjoyment.

Secondly, Guns N' Roses are nothing without Axl. That's a fact. It's been proven time and time again, though not like anybody really noticed.

Before I go on, let me just say that Slash is easily in the top 5 Guitar Gods of all time. So, it's kinda hard to say he's nothing without Axl, but the proof is in the pudding. He released two Snakepit albums that did nothing. Essentially, if he hadn't met Axl, he'd be the hardest working, most acclaimed session guitarist in history (popping up on songs by Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, Lenny Kravitz, Motorhead, Blackstreet, Ray Charles, and dozens of others).

Bassist Duff McKagan also released a couple of solo albums that did nothing (since he sung backup for Guns and soloed once on their last studio album, he thought he could front a real band; he couldn't). And Matt Sorum's cool and all, but he's no Keith Moon.

In fact, out of all the elements of Guns N' Roses - Axl, Slash, Duff, Matt Sorum/Steven Adler, and Izzy Stradlin - only Izzy the rhythm guitarist has managed to forge a quality musical career post-Guns (though, to be fair, his albums don't sell either, but at least they fucking rock). Obviously a clear-cut case of the sum being superior to the individual parts.

But, that just goes to prove my third point, which relates to the first two: Weiland will never be Axl. Axl Rose is the visionary with the banshee voice who's got all the ambition, and the rest of Guns N' Roses rein Axl in to the point where they actually manage to release an album instead of sitting on it for over a decade. What we end up with might not be something Axl is entirely satisfied with (since he's the ultimate perfectionist), but it rocks more than anything else because he's got the appropriate bandmates that have more chops and talent than anyone else. If you take Axl out of the equation and replace him with Weiland, then you're left with a guy who lacks any ambition to make a landmark record - indeed, Weiland's just trying to stay sober enough to live into his 50s; he could care less about achieving greatness musically - with a band that kills, but has no direction.

In an ideal world, Velvet Revolver would stop this farce right now; Axl would re-unite with Slash, Duff, Izzy and Sorum and complete 'Chinese Democracy'; Weiland would get back on the smack and join the Alice In Chains reunion; Zack de la Rocha would make a new Rage Album; Soundgarden would re-form and do a tour (but no new album, I don't want to tarnish the image); Pink Floyd would get Roger Waters and David Gilmour together in a room with an audience of Me and they'd pound out a live version of Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here; the Sex Pistols would never ever EVER come out of hibernation; Smashing Pumpkins would stop making records; Trent Reznor would finally get around to doing an acoustic, moody, quiet record; the Foo Fighters would take a 5-year break so I could look forward to a new album from them; Aerosmith would kick out all outside writers and focus on making an original all-Aerosmith Aerosmith rock record; and I'd be getting a blowjob from underneath this desk right now from any number of attractive co-workers around me.

But, it's not an ideal world. It's just the world, and the world has Velvet Revolver. And we're all worse off for it