Velvet Revolver
Melody and the Tyranny



by Dave de Sylvia EMERITUS
June 8th, 2007 | 13 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There’s little reason to actually own Melody and the Tyranny beyond satisfying one’s curiosity before Libertad drops

‘Melody and the tyranny’- that’s only one step away from ‘melody and the tranny,’ right" It’s like the 80s never ended.

Not so for Velvet Revolver; formed from the ruins of sleaze metal kingpins Guns N’ Roses and Seattle bandwagoners Stone Temple Pilots, they’re aiming to dump the dubious “supergroup” tag with their second full-length album Libertad next month and fortify their position at the top of the hard rock establishment. Though guitarist Slash punctuates the lead track of teaser EP Melody and the Tyranny with sharp glam rock chord stabs and dizzy leads, ‘She Builds Quick Machines’ bears most of the clichés associated with heavy rock in the post-grunge era: slick, though sludgy, production; a quiet verse, loud radio-crafted chorus dynamic; and the rehashing of ideas from a previous hit (an all-too-common occurrence known as the ‘Nickelback Model’)- in this case 2004’s far superior ‘Slither.’

Yet it’s not so much the ‘Slither’ similarity which is bothersome, rather the sledgehammer chorus which lodges itself in the brain through excessive repetition rather than a genuine melodic construct, and the generally poor standard of the often nonsensical lyrics. At one point, Weiland opines, ‘she ran away to Texas, to keep away the excess,’ where a rhyme wasn’t really needed at all. Elsewhere he trots out the tired rock cliché ‘she keeps her motor clean,’ which only makes slightly more sense in the context of the nonsense title. And those are just the memorable lyrics. More convincing are the EP’s two other audio tracks: album track ‘Just Sixteen,’ essentially ‘Hot For Teacher’ taken to its logical conclusion, and ‘Psycho Killer,’ a surprise cover of Talking Heads’ post-punk classic.

‘Just Sixteen’ succeeds everywhere ‘She Builds Quick Machines’ fails, demonstrating a real musical progression from 2004’s Contraband, albeit with Brendan O’Brien’s typically muddy production style. If ‘She Builds Quick Machines’ represents the blandest of today’s radio rock, ‘Just Sixteen’ is as natural and uncomplicated a power pop song as the reader is likely to hear. In the grand pop tradition of challenging established norms through infectious melodies, ‘Just Sixteen,’ possibly from the pen of drummer Matt “Jailbait” Sorum, tells of a relationship between a female teacher (Mrs. Jones, appropriately) and her sixteen year-old student which is spectacularly busted when she’s caught giving him head in his dad’s car- anybody who’s watched Fox News in the last year will know what a hot topic this is. Slash is re-invigorated, laying simple blues licks over Dave Kushner’s buzzsaw accompaniment, and Weiland reaches into the depths of his bassy repetoire for the chorus vocal.

Melody and the Tyranny’s hidden gem is a heavy blues reinterpretation of ‘Psycho Killer’ by way of George Thorogood and the Destroyers. While Weiland stays faithful to David Byrne’s vocal, the band take liberties with the arrangement, substituting the original’s clean, funky guitars for slide and wah effects and a heavy, plodding rhythm section. The ‘Making Of’ video documentary is surprisingly lacking in insight, mostly cobbled together from videos released during the album’s production, offering snippets of songs but hardly enough to turn the listener on or off. The fifth and final track is a live video recording of Contraband’s ‘Do It For The Kids’ from a concert in Houston, Texas, in 2004; this energetic number was chosen to open the band’s set at Live 8 in 2005 and features the memorable pseudo-refrain: ‘went too fast I’m outta luck and I don’t even give a ***!’

The relative sparsity of new material included in Melody and the Tyranny is disappointing, though understandable as the album is a mere four weeks away. ‘Just Sixteen’ will give Libertad’s prospects a whole new complexion for many disappointed by the rock-by-numbers ‘She Builds Quick Machine.’ ‘Psycho Killer’ and ‘Do It For The Kids’ are worthwhile collectors items, at least while the band holds off on a concert CD/DVD, but as a record there’s little reason to actually own Melody and the Tyranny beyond satisfying one’s curiosity before upcoming festival dates and Libertad’s release on July 3- perhaps that’s why it’s only been released in Europe and Australia with a limited print run of just 5,000.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 8th 2007


Nice review. I don't really care for VR, though I might check out the Talking Heads cover. Sounds interesting.

June 8th 2007


Just saw their new video, not a bad vid even though they look like a bunch of douches.

June 8th 2007


I liked STP, but didn't find VR that great.
Just 'cause they have Slash doesn't make 'em a great band.

Two-Headed Boy
June 8th 2007


Their first album was atrocious, so I won't check this out.

Great work as usual.

June 8th 2007


hmmm, i will probably not check this out before Libertad has been released. She Builds Quick Machines could have been executed a little better, although the main riff is quite good.

I agree with Sam on the vid, Scott Weiland as a cowboy?...XD

but still better than the nazi when he performs live.

June 9th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

they psycho killer cover is amazing. its a bit scary how much scott sounds like jim morrison on this one.

June 10th 2007


is this released yet?

June 10th 2007


it says it was released on the 2nd

June 10th 2007


I might actually try this out.

She Builds Quick Machines ain't too shabby.

The Jungler
June 10th 2007


Great review

The single/opening track is kind of lame, but I like the video. The scene of Slash soloing with the burning Indian flailing around in the background made me lol

and ew, Talking Heads cover? I'll have to hear it to believe itThis Message Edited On 06.10.07

June 20th 2007


She Builds Quick Machines isn't all that bad. I mean, sure it's not better than Slither, but it's better than most of the tracks from Contraband that sucked. The only thing I'd like to see change however is the production and who writes the songs. I'm not saying Scott's songwriting sucks, I'm just saying that he wrote better songs in STP that didn't have so many stupid lyrics as in VR. But it's not just him writing the lyrics, it's the whole band. If Scott would just use the same voice he used in STP and mixed it with the general kick assery of everyone who was in GNR that isn't Axl[[this counts Dave as well]], you would probably have an extremely better band.

wooden rock fingers
June 25th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

velvet revolver continued with their hard rock sound and their rock n roll guitar riffs and with this ep they still rock like in contraband

June 25th 2007


It's funny, I used to care so much about what happened with Velvet Revolver, but I'm so indifferent to it now. They're new video came on the TV the other day and It was pretty dull.

Libertad leaked, I'm listening now. It sounds ok, maybe even good. I'll see, i'm only on the 3rd track haha.

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