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November 26, 2008

Axl and the Banshees

We know that many music reviewers suffer from chronic creativity-deficiency, but their reliance on some arcane cliché in describing the new Guns and Roses album is a bit much. Maybe we shouldn't judge the critics too harshly, since they rarely get 17 years and $13 million to work with. But there's one thing that keeps recurring in the assessments of Chinese Democracy—in addition to those two numbers. Someone, somewhere—probably Kurt Loder—decreed that no Guns and Roses review would be complete without a comparison of Axl's voice (or howl, or screech, or wail, or take your pick) to the cry of a banshee:

Axl and Banshee

Separated at birth?

Spin: "Once the overture of muffled voices, ominous drums, and plinky Edge-ish guitar gives way to a thick, muscular four-chord riff and that Axl banshee wail, only the most stubbornly jaded will manage to suppress the goosebump reflex."

Entertainment Weekly: "At times it's possible to hear the world-changing CD that Rose—whose banshee howl remains gloriously intact—must have had in his tightly braided skull all these years."

Slate: "On Chinese Democracy, his voice is still an amazing, bludgeoning instrument, rising from demonic low rumble to piercing banshee wail."

TimeOut: "The only salient elements throughout are Axl’s outlandish banshee howl and numerous ludicrous guitar solos."

Blender: "…a blast of iMax Lynyrd Skynyrd complete with string section, a couple na-na-na refrains, several bridges to nowhere and lord knows how many latticed layers of Axl's bandana-banshee singing."

Cleveland Plain Dealer: "It gets "Chinese Democracy off to a bracing start, complete with a banshee wail courtesy of Rose."

Mojo: "While Rose’s own vocal style is the epitome of the hard rock banshee, his formative influences include the dramatic, sophisticated pop of Elton John, Queen and ELO.

Now you might be wondering—just what the hell is a banshee? Well, primarily, it's a flexible, downright lazy bit of rock-critic shorthand. Having not mentioned the term, Rolling Stone must have found Chinese Democracy lacking in banshee-ality, since the magazine never hesitated to bring out the b-word before. They've used "banshee X" to describe bands from AC/DC to the Replacements, the guitars on Pearl Jam's Vitalogy, the Divinyls' entire fifth album, and Sinead O'Connor.

So what is a banshee really? The Sinead O'Connor review might not be so far off. According to all-knowing Wikipedia (which also describes one of the tracks on Chinese Democracy as "banshee") a banshee was a mythical fairy-like creature in Celtic mythology. If a member of a household of a particular family had died, the banshee would let out a wail. But the similarities between Axl and the Banshees don't end with um…the fact that they wail. Apparently banshees were known to stuff socks in their crotch when appearing on stage, publicly feud with band members, and inexplicably show up on national television in cornrows. At least that’s what Kurt Loder told me.







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Comments

- Arts
- posted on Nov 30, 08
Banshee Badass

Doesn't everyone know what a Banshee is? Isn't everyone Irish? Ever see "Darby Ogill and the little people" Excellent film.

Btw- Axl can't sing anymore. I saw them in concert before the album was announced for November. He couldn't hit any fucking high notes. It's all digital on the album I think.

- Arts
- posted on Oct 14, 17
ボッテガヴェネタコピー

格安販売 顧客は至上≡≡★★★★★★大注目★★★★★≡≡≡≡≡


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