Chuck Klosterman reviews the upcoming Guns ‘N’ Roses album. Of particular note are the shots Axl takes at Velvet Revolver and the indication from Klosterman that we’re in for another sprawling epic – and I don’t think that’s a good sign.

Guns ‘N’ Roses are, simply put, an enigma. Other than, say, a five-year period from ’87 to ’92, they haven’t really existed, which makes it all the more impressive that they’ve somehow managed to stay in the public eye and somewhat relevant all these years. Other than going to the Tom Sholtz School of Ridiculous Perfectionists, how does a band stay relevant by not relasing a new studio album for nearly 15 years?! I don’t know. I do now this: there can be little dispute that their rookie album is one of mainstream rock’s all time greatest works. Bits of it sound dated today, but most of it is still awfully strong and has passed the test of time with flying colors.

There is much dispute about the stregth of the Use Your Illusion albums, however. There is, undoubtedly, plenty of dreck there. On the other hand, some of those songs are incredibly good, particularly the less-heard “Dust N Bones” and “14 Years,” penned and sung by Izzy Stradlin’, who remains to this day the most underrated performer in a very popular rock band – ever, perhaps. He’s the Michael Young of rock. As soon as Izzy left the band, I felt like everything truly fell apart and we’e never really had the chance to hear anything from Guns since. So I’m quite anxious to hear Chinese Democracy.

Anxiety. Curiousity. That’s what will help the record sell so well. And it will.

Oh, if you’re a fan of Spoon, check out Fort Miley’s great write-up of the Britt Daniel solo show out in San Francisco.