Review Summary: All in all a great release from a classic band. Whilst not an ideal introduction to the band, it serves well to transcend its status as being 'just' a mini-album.
If there's any release that epitomises the duality of good ol' fashioned rock and/or roll it's 'Lies'. The first half consisting of a live EP released prior to their debut 'Appetite for Destruction', the latter four being acoustic tracks, this mini-album showcases the Gunners bad boy attitude as much as it does their knack for quality songwriting.
Opener 'Reckless Life' is one track that is solely designed for the live arena. One can practically hear a tide of sweat, beer and hairspray beneath Axl Rose's caterwauling as the band tear through this punky hard rocker. 'Nice Boys' (Rose Tattoo cover) follow and picks the pace right up, the Guns boys sounding like a bunch of punks who've lost their way into the Deep South, such is their appropriation of 12-bar boogie and snotty-nosed nihilism. 'Nice boys don't play rock n' roll' they tell us, and they would know, picking up from where Aerosmith left off with the Jack Daniels soaked blues-punk-glam that has since defined them. 'Move to the City' emphasises the blues part of the equation, and one can't help but tap a foot to Slash's pentatonic phrasing. Such is the power of the fuzzy-haired six-stringer's playing that his tobacco-sunburst Les Paul doesn't so much play as it does sing and cry. Following this is a cover of Aerosmith's 'Mama Kin', and if there's one band that's fit to do justice to a 'Smith track it's Guns 'n' Roses. Guns groove and shake their way through this 70s classic and the fresh-faced energy and audible sense of fun reminds one why the 80s was such an exciting era.
'Patience' opens the second part of this mini-album, and such is the beauty of this classic it hardly needs an introduction. Proving that even rock n roll's baddest of the bad boys need to wear their hearts on their collective sleeve every once in a while, Rose croons (and whistles) this timeless acoustic track straight from the heart. Keeping in with the acoustic theme, 'I Used to Love Her', follows, an upbeat bluesy number that jangles with light-heartedness, it's understated beauty lying in the fact that it sounds like a group of close friends having a jam, which is exactly what it is. 'You're Crazy' comes next, and the adaption of the 'Appetite For Destruction' track translates well to acoustic treatment, Rose's passion and range shining though it's entirety. Controversial as it is catchy, 'One in a Million' closes this Extended Play, as Rose relates his experiences of LA as a teenager, replete with racist and homophobic commentary.
All in all a great release from a classic band. Whilst not an ideal introduction to the band, it serves well to transcend it's status as being 'just' a mini-album. Both sides serve up the band rare and raw, and whether they're playing the club circuit or jamming acoustically, it's not hard to tell why they've achieved such legendary status.
Stand out tracks: 'Reckless Life', 'Patience', 'One in a Million