Throughout the years there has been countless of fuck-ups in rock and roll, but few has been worse than former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler. In fact, those who were are dead now and speaking of dead, it’s nothing more than a miracle that Adler is still alive today! Since he got the boot from G N’R back in 1991, his world has mainly revolved around drugs and musically, he hasn’t accomplished much. He did try a project with another drugged out rocker, Adam Bomb, that went nowhere, he tried to form the band Road Crew with Davy Vain that didn’t work and in later years he has been touring with his own project Adler’s Appetite, a band that was more or less his own G N’R tribute band even though they released two e.p.’s, Adler’s Appetite (2010) and Alive (2012), of original songs. However, lately things have been looking bright for him. After two stints in the reality show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew”, it looks like Adler has finally won the battle against his drug problems. He has also formed a new band called Adler that he’s been touring with and this time they are all about originals.
Without much further notice, the band released their debut album Back From The Dead in November and if truth is to be told, I didn’t expect much. First of all Steven Adler isn’t known as a songwriter and new members Lonnie Paul (Guitar) and Jacob Bunton (Vocals, Guitar) aren’t exactly well-known. In fact, this project looked more like another has-been desperately trying to hang on to past glories and I guess most people will listen to this, just like me, more out of curiosity than anything else. Of course, this could be an advantage for the guys as Adler isn’t new to being an underdog, G N’R started out that way and if he and the boys have managed to make even half a decent album, people would be in for a surprise
Well, they haven’t only done that, they have made one hell of an album! It took only one listen to totally blow me away and it was even better the second time through my ear phones. This isn’t just good, this is great! The guys go for a knock from the start, the first track, the title track, a raw and edgy thing that has a cool catchiness to it, the title “My Own Worst Enemy” really explains what the song is about and it’s a really raunchy one, “Another Version Of The Truth” is a brilliant track that sounds a bit like his former band mate Slash’s solo stuff and “The One That You Hated” is just fantastic and in my ears, this is a HIT! Speaking of Slash, he is one of two guests on this album and he appears on the killer ballad “Just Don’t Ask”. That one is also a hit. The other guest is John 5 (Rob Zombie, ex-Marilyn Manson, Ex-David Lee Roth) who plays on “Good To Be Bad”. “Blown Away” is dirty and raw rock and roll with a small trace of Nickelback and it sounds amazing, “Waterfall” is pop metal, probably aimed for radio, but still a great track, “Habit” is another title that really says it all and a stunning track and “Dead Wrong” stands out a bit on here with a sound that is reminiscent of the more radio friendly metal bands that are out there today, but it is still a fantastic tune.
It’s understandable that people might be suspicious of this record as Adler has proved to be somewhat whimsical, but the fact is, this is a fantastic come back album, full of raw, yet melodic hard rock, the way it should sound, not a far cry from what Guns N’Roses is known for. The production by Jeff Pilson (Dokken), who also handles the bass here (how’s that for a rhythm section, huh?) is gutsy, in your face and raw, but still clean and smooth. When Axl Rose still gets all the attention for his solo band that is still called Guns N’Roses, making a crappy album that still sold lots of copies, it wouldn’t be fair if this album flopped. It should outsell Chinese Democracy by hundreds and thousands, because this album is everything Axl’s crap isn’t. I highly recommend this to everyone out there who has a soft spot for this kind of down to earth and edgy rock and roll with great and memorable melodies.
Hats off to Steven and the guys and let’s just hope and pray that drugs doesn’t ruin it for him once again. I see a really bright future here.
Jon Wilmenius (9/10)
1. Back from the Dead
2. Own Worst Enemy
3. Another Version of the Truth
4. The One That You Hated
5. Good To Be Bad
6. Just Don’t Ask
7. Blown Away
10. Your Diamonds
11. Dead Wrong