I normally wouldn’t bother with an EP, but when I made an exceptions for this one when I heard that Guns N Roses had released their first new material featuring guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan since (checks notes) 1994??!?!
It’s no lie that the Gunners haven’t been good in a long time. Use Your Illusion 1 and 2 (which I wrote about last year; I didn’t enjoy them) came out over thirty years ago, and since then we’ve had a covers album (The Spaghetti Incident), a couple of singles (including “Sympathy For The Devil”, the last recording with Slash and Duff), and then the disaster that was Chinese Democracy.
I can happily report that the Hard Skool EP is a vast improvement. Singles “Hard Skool” and “Absurd” are better than anything on Democracy; “Hard Skool”, especially, sounds like a classic Guns N Roses track, replete with tasty solo from Slash. The remaining two tracks are live versions of Appetite For Destruction tracks “Don’t Cry” and “You’re Crazy”, showing that at least the band has some context about what their fans want more of.
You know what? I didn’t hate listening to this. And if future Gunners material features those original members and harks back to Appetite, I might actually be here for it.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.