REVIEW: Guns N’ Roses – “ABSUЯD” (2021 single)

GUNS N’ ROSES – “ABSUЯD” (2021 single)

“Listen motherfuckers to the song that should be heard!” bellows W. Axl Rose, cocky as ever.

Guns N’ Roses like to drop bombshells and they did this week when “Silkworms” returned to the setlist after an absence of almost two decades.  It had been reworked and retitled “Absurd”, now augmented with Slash n’ Duff’s involvement.  In another surprise bombshell, they just released a studio version.  The first new Guns N’ Roses music since Chinese Democracy and first with Slash and Duff since 1994.

“Silkworms” is am interesting choice to release as the first new song with the old legends back in the band.  It’s always going to be associated with the Chi-Dem era.  The version I knew had Robin Finck and Buckethead on guitar.  Brain on drums.  Tommy Stinson on bass.  A lot has changed!  Slash is audible but more Slash-y sounds would be have appreciated.  Duff sounds brilliant.  Why not an actual new song?  I don’t know…but at the same time, I’m glad “Silkworms” finally got a release as “Absurd”.  It was always deserving of a proper studio release.

Axl sings in that punky “Down on the Farm” character, and the lyrics are as venomous as they were in 2001.  “Parasitic demons sucking acid through your heart!”  He sounds quite good; better than the concert versions we’ve heard thus far.  The vocal is mixed to sound like a megaphone because, hey, it was the Chi-Dem era.  There’s a disorienting quiet section in the middle that also hearkens back to that quaint time.

Good tune, but those of us who have craved “Silkworms” for 20 years are biased to a good impression.  Those who didn’t like it won’t be turned, and those who want something more like Appetite and Illusions won’t get it this time.  If you love Chinese Democracy, add a mark to my score.  If you hate it, subtract one or two based on your level of venom.

4/5 stars



  1. Different for sure. I really like Chinese Democracy but I will not be adding a mark to the score. I would probably rate it lower than 4.
    Maybe after a few more listens. I think I realllllly want to like it more than I do at this point.

    I have an album from 1996 that features not only Axl, Slash and Duff, but even Izzy. Maybe writing about it will get my butt in gear to get back to blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. After 1.5 years of being in a pandemic I don’t think planet earth could handle Lebrain getting stumped.
        I might quickly have to “borrow” a rocket from Jeff Bezos and get the hell out of Dodge.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The Outpatience – Anxious Disease. Also has Steve Stevens and the band thanks Matt Sorum in the credits but it looks as if Matt never played on it. I have the Japanese version with obi.
          West Arkeen lived beside Duff in the 80’s, co wrote some of the Gunners songs and was almost added to the band as a 3rd guitarist.

          Nicely done. I asked Ricky to help me “borrow” a rocket but he hates playing space.


  2. I don’t think I would have guessed that was GnR if I didn’t know. The only thing that almost gives it away is that vocal squeal.
    Sounds more like a second-rate industrial band. Maybe they can book shows opening for Stabbing Westward.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh wow, I hadnt heard anything about this until now. Was there no marketing campaign or build up?

    It is a bit of a spot the difference with silk worms, but the slash leads are enjoyable. Vocals arent my preference, but you could kind of tell theyd be this way from the live version.


  4. Nah. Sorry, man – this is pretty horrible. I’m in agreement with Zack about this sounding like second-rate industrial shenanigans. Sounds so dated. So bad. My opinion, of course.


  5. This band is doomed as everyone wants Appetite 2021. It ain’t happening folks lol. Good track I like as its something new and for Guns who have done how many tours now without anything new its a start.


    1. Rumour has it they did not want to spoil their soon to be released cover of Surfin’ Turd.
      A-well-a everybody’s heard about the turd!
      Turd, turd, turd, t-turd’s the word (repeat while doing Peter Griffen dance moves)

      Liked by 2 people

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