Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|CD by Velvet Revolver|
|Released||June 8, 2004|
|Length||60 min 7 sec|
|Record label||RCA Records|
|Velvet Revolver Chronology|
Recording of the album
Velvet Revolver was formed when three Guns n' Roses alumni - Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass) and Matt Sorum (drums) - joined together to pay a benefit concert for fellow musician Randy Castillo in 2002. They decided to form another band together and recruited guitarist Dave Kushner who had previously played with Suicidal Tendencies, Wasted Youth , and Dave Navarro. Kushner went to school with Slash and had worked with McKagan before. The quartet were known as The Project pending the selection of a permanent name
The quartet then set about recruiting a lead singer with the recruitment process filmed by VH1. A number of lead singers auditioned including Josh Todd formerly of Buckcherry, Kelly Shaefer of Neurotica and Travis Meeks of Days of the New but were unsuccessful. Scott Weiland had become friends with McKagan and had played on the same bill as Kushner when Stone Temple Pilots were known as Mighty Joe Young and Kushner was in the Electric Love Hogs . Weiland heard the material and offered his services as the lead singer and the band clicked. Slash suggested the name Revolver for the project and Weiland suggested the addition of Velvet to the title.
Velvet Revolver recorded its first track "Set Me Free" for The Hulk soundtrack in 2003. The band played their first live gig at the El Rey in Los Angeles in July 2003. It recorded its first album Contraband in the latter part of 2003 with recording complicated by Weiland's court appearances for drug charges and his subsequent sentencing to undertake rehabilitation.
The Contraband album was released in June 2004 debuting at #1 on the Billboard album charts #11 on the British album charts and #2 in Australia. The first single "Slither" topped a composite world modern rock chart in June, reached #1 on the Billboard mainstream rock chart and #5 on the Billboard modern rock chart. Slither has also reached #64 on the Billboard Hot 100, gone top 20 in Finland and top 40 on a European composite chart, Canada and Australia.
Metacritic.com has given Contraband an average score of 61 based on 14 reviews, indicating that the critical response has been "generally favorable". 
Rolling Stone rated it as 4 stars out of 5 said "it is a rare, fine thing: the sound of the perfect A&R sales pitch turning into a real band. Now we can find out if these guys can stay together, and go somewhere new." Best tracks: "Sucker Train Blues", "Slither", "Do It For The Kids", "Big Machine", "Fall to Pieces" 
ShakingThrough.net rated it as 3.5 stars although it said: "Contraband, the debut result of said pairing, never does transmute its elements into something new and exciting. Mostly, it sounds like no more and a little less than one might hope for from such a union." Best Tracks: "Slither", "Spectacle", "Headspace", "Superhuman" 
Entertainment Weekly rated it as 67 saying "Even at its best, Contraband feels secondhand, and much of it is also hobbled by a disconnect between band and singer." [4 June 2004, page 79]
Allmusic.com rated it as 3 stars out of 5 saying "With Contraband, Velvet Revolver has pulled off something tidy, fashioning music that manages both hedonism and maturity. It upholds legacies while grading a new route." Best tracks: "Big Machine", "Fall to Pieces" "Slither" 
Blender said it was "A showcase for Weiland's vocals" (#27, page 148). Playlouder rated it as three candles out of five saying it sounded more like Stone Temple Pilots and "anyone who'd hoped for Guns n' Roses mark II (or III) will be very seriously disappointed." Best track "Fall to Pieces" 
E! Online rated the album as a C saying "Velvet Revolver sounds like a hungover bar band playing catch-up, wading through tired blues licks and meaningless grunge imagery on tracks like "Slither" and "Big Machine". Velvet Revolver is locked and a total load." 
- "Sucker Train Blues"
- "Do It For the Kids"
- "Big Machine"
- "Illegal I Song'
- "Fall to Pieces"
- "Set Me Free"
- "You Got No Right"
- "Dirty Little Thing"
- "Loving the Alien"
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