Former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach, who spent much of 2006 and 2007 touring as the support act for GUNS N' ROSES, has issued the following update:
"Let's talk audio here. Just like you and the rest of the planet, since Sunday I have spent every waking moment I can listening to 'Chinese Democracy'. Recently I purchased a brand new turntable, partly because it has a USB cord on the back so you can make MP3s of your albums. Funny thing, I have not made one MP3 yet since I bought it. Fact is, any ear can hear that albums sound far richer, clearer and more natural by far than mp3's and even standard CDs. Once I started listening to my albums again, the only use I now have for MP3s is their portability. It's definitely cool to carry your whole collection around in your pocket, but as far as sound goes, analog whups digital's ass, hands down, no contest.
"Which leads me to 'Chinese Democracy'. Picked up the 180-gram vinyl double album and the CD as well for the car. This is the first brand new album I have bought in over 15 years, for sure, possibly 20 years. All I can say is, we as music fans have lost a lot with the so-called (premature? one can only hope) 'demise' of the LP. As soon as I ran my fingernail down the side, splitting the cellophane and opened the gatefold sleeve, I knew I was in for a full-on rock'n'roll 'experience' getting into this LP. I pulled out disc 1 and was immediately struck by how 'heavy' this vinyl was. It's like my dad's old original copy of 'Led Zeppelin 2'. Not flimsy, lightweight vinyl like records became in the late '80s. 'Chinese Democracy' is a heavy, thick 'platter' of a record. I couldn't wait to crank it.
"For your information, the Bach stereo system consists of : the 'Ion' turntable through a Pioneer VSX-52 Amplifier. I run this through an AudioControl C-101 equalizier, with Adcom poweramps. My speakers are JBL Control 10s with a Velodyne sub-woofer on a hardwood floor. Yes, I can make my whole house literally shake if I want, and yes, the lights actually dim for a second in my living room when I fire all the gear up. I dig it. In short, it kicks ass.
"As soon as I dropped the needle on 'Chinese Democracy', I was captivated by the sound of this record and the thought, talent, and care put into this piece of art from all involved. The power, clarity, separation and production of this music is nothing short of incredible. As loud as I want, I can still hear the vocals, guitars and everything else perfectly clear, with the bass rumbling my guts (and below) just like it should. When Axl rips into the line 'even with an iron fist' in the first song, the blood in my veins starts to boil and the intensity does not let up until the end of side four. What I hear on this record is unbelievable pathos, 100% of Axl's heart and soul on record for all of us to hear. When he sings a song such as 'Street Of Dreams', it's like Janis Joplin at her best, with Quincy Jones' quote of 'melody is king' operating in full effect. The melodies on this record rip my heart out. To hear them sung by the beautiful/deadly instrument that is Axl Rose's voice is something that is to me, truly special, not to mention really cool to own and be able to blast 'on stun' whenever I choose. Four times today so far, but who's counting.
"I cannot stop listening to this record. 'Scraped', 'Riad N' The Bedouins', 'Street Of Dreams', 'IRS', everytime I listen I have a new favorite. Brain, Bumblefoot, Robin Finck, everyone on the record played their asses off; the production is stellar; I haven't even got to the lyrics, still too blown away by the sheer sound to tackle the words.... yet! The album is, above all: Original. Heartfelt. Without compromise. How many records can you honestly describe in that way today? This is like nothing I have ever heard. And I can't wait to hear it again. Which is, to me, the definition of great rock'n'roll."