vonChristian Ihle 29.06.2023

Monarchie & Alltag

Neue Bands und wichtige Filme: „As long as the music’s loud enough, we won’t hear the world falling apart“.

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“Frontrunners for the worst Glasto headline set of all time

From the moment GN’R arrive – with uncharacteristic punctuality – they represent everything dated, rockist, indulgent and macho that Glastonbury has rejected since its inception. Launching into the grisly Sunset Strip rock’n’roll of “It’s So Easy”, Axl Rose writhes around the stage like he’s in a pop-up ad for a very niche fetish website, while Slash works relentless quicksilver riffs from his Gibson. The 57-year-old holds his guitar at a permanently priapic angle, with the expression of a plumber installing a particularly intricate under-sink filter system.

And despite them being this year’s only Pyramid Stage headline act with a female member (in keyboardist Melissa Reese), there are moments when they exude more toxic masculinity than Andrew Tate’s personal Lynx factory. Witness Axl berating a “syphilitic priestess” with a “p**** full of maggots” to visuals of slime beasts, banshees and crawling metallic Medusa hair, like the most incel of Tinder trolls. (…)

Axl, it quickly transpires, is Guns N’ Roses’ fatal flaw. The band may be capable of weighing down their paciest speed-rock workout (“Double Talkin’ Jive”) to a ponderous chug and could drag “The Wheels on the Bus” out to an overblown 12 minutes. But even when they’re locked into a powerful, charged union – on, say, “Estranged” or “Reckless Life” – Rose makes the whole thing sound like a Muppet Show pastiche of hard rock.

It’s his voice: a creature that, were you to take it to a vet, would come home in a cardboard box. Mumbling vague approximations of English words as if chronically constipated (if you’ve hit the goat curry hard enough, you’ll feel his intestinal pain), he flips between a lower register that resembles a clogged lawnmower and a higher one that sounds like Barry Gibb suffering the mother of all wedgies. (…)

“You Could Be Mine” sounds like it’s being mauled by a pack of wild cats and Axl lands such relentless hammer blows to the skull of Wings’ “Live and Let Die” (minus the rumoured Macca guest spot) that “let die” becomes the kindest option. (…) A parade of rock cliché outfits – shiny biker king, Vegas magician – only serve to emphasise the sense that he’s become a lounge singer tribute to himself.”

(Mark Beaumont in The Independent)

Mehr Schmähkritik:
* Schmähkritik (361): NME über Guns’n’Roses Headliner Gig beim Reading Festival 2010: “Axl looks like a hamster trying to be a mobile disco DJ, in silver blazer, black Stetson, and stretched-to-bursting face.”
* Schmähkritik (150): Jens Balzer über Guns’n’Roses – Chinese Democracy: “Selbst die geschliffenste Dialektik versagt, wo die Empirie sich verweigert. Die neue Platte von Guns´n´Roses ist einfach nur der letzte Scheiß.”
* Schmähkritik (138): Die FAZ über Guns’n’Roses – Chinese Democracy
* Schmähkritik (137): Die Welt über Guns’n’Roses – Chinese Democracy: „Chinese Democracy“ ist das schlimmste aller Guns-N’-Roses-Alben und die jämmerlichste CD des Jahres, die in ihrer Grauenhaftigkeit auch die Legende einer Rockband zerstört; ein gruseliger Mischmasch aus popeligem Gitarrenrock und hoffnungslos veralteten Drumcomputer- und Elektrospielereien.”


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