Friday, May 7, 2010
CD Review: Pawnshop Guitars, by Gilby Clarke (1994)
Fresh from his four year stint as the second guitarist with Guns N' Roses, Gilby Clarke struck out on his own and released Pawnshop Guitars, which unfortunately turned out to be one of the worst heavy metal albums by an established metal name.
Clarke had exactly one great song in him: the opener Cure Me...Or Kill Me... is a terrific, groovy up-tempo track that holds so much promise.
Clarke also had three good supporting songs: Black, Tijuana Jail, and Pawn Shop Guitars hold their own and combine slinky guitar playing with appropriately sleazy story telling.
And that's it. The other seven tracks would be a cure for insomnia if only they weren't so irritating. Acoustic, mindless, unimaginative and plain dreary. The songs, including unnecessary covers of The Rolling Stones' Dead Flowers and The Clash's Jail Guitar Doors, lack any emotion, power, or drama to make up for the crushing lack of energy and imagination. It is very difficult to believe that the person who wrote Cure Me...Or Kill Me...also wrote the stultifying rubbish of Skin & Bones.
Track 11 is titled Shut Up, and it cannot come to pass soon enough to end the misery.
Clarke, who stretches himself to perform vocal duties with limited success, collaborated with a long list of musicians on the various Pawnshop Guitars songs, including most of his former Guns N' Roses bandmates. Unfortunately, no superstar magic rubs off on this utterly forgettable solo project.
Gilby Clarke - Guitars, Vocals.
17 other musicians collaborated, including:
Matt Sorum and Duff McKagen on Drums.
Slash on Guitars.
Duff McKagen on Bass.
Dizzy Reed and W. Axl Rose on Keyboards.
Songlist (ratings out of 10):
1. Cure Me...Or Kill Me... - 10
2. Black - 8
3. Tijuana Jail - 8
4. Skin & Bones - 4
5. Johanna's Chopper - 6
6. Let's Get Lost - 6
7. Pawn Shop Guitars - 8
8. Dead Flowers - 5
9. Jail Guitar Doors - 6
10. Hunting Dogs - 5
11. Shut Up - 6
Produced by Waddy Wachtel. Recorded by Rod O'Brien.
Mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero.
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