Scott Weiland. Slash. Duff McKagen. Matt Sorum. It doesn't seem like a good idea to put these people in a room together, let alone a band. But it was the same exact explosive element of danger and low I.Q. scores that made both of these players' former groups-- Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N' Roses--sell billions, so why stand in their way? The music on Contraband sounds appropriately monumental, all window-quivering riffs, and ticker-tape parade choruses. "Do It For the Kids" and "Set Me Free" take direct inspiration from Nirvana, meaning they are brilliantly raw, raucous, and indecent. It's great stuff. The power-ballads like "Fall to Pieces" and "You Got No Right," however, are more heartburn than heartbreak when compared to past achievements like, oh, let's say "Sweet Child O' Mine." --Aidin Vaziri
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