Once upon a time in the era of Rubik’s Cubes, The Cure and Poison, there was a birth of enormous importance. One band rose to the top of the charts and will forever be categorized as leaders in the 80’s hair metal movement. That band is Guns N’ Roses, and being the icons that they are, their sound and legacy has spawned various tribute albums. Bring You To Your Knees is the latest homage to the hair metal gods we have come to know and love.
Trading Axl Rose’s scratchy whine with rough screams is the first noticeable change that defines this CD as a tribute and not just a bunch of covers. The bands on the track list are all known for their strong foothold in the neo-hardcore scene. I’m not a fan of most of these metalcore groups and my dislike for them was furthered when listening to these songs. I tried keeping an open mind when I listened to it, but every time I searched for something good, the songs kept getting worse. Each track was equally offensive. When listening to Most Precious Blood’s version of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” I was taken over by the very similar beginning, but then came the curdling screams. My hopes of a decent tribute were dashed. I understand that a tribute is an artist’s own interpretation of a certain song, but this tribute fails because each and every song is exactly alike.
Instead of detailing what each song sounds like, here is a basic prototype: crunching guitars, excessively strong drum beats, a pounding bass line, and raw, scratchy, forcefully loud screams. Each and every song holds the same amount of energy, the same expected vocals from a hardcore singer, and the same monotonous barrage of guitars. Nothing is different and nothing stands out – it makes for a rather boring listen.
If you’re a fan of the metalcore/hardcore scene and/or Guns N’ Roses, this tribute may be worth the look. Otherwise this disc should be allowed its graceful phasing out from our music environment, something Axl Rose didn’t do, much to the dismay of the music loving public.
(Law of Inertia)