In talking about Appetite For Destruction, an album that turns 25 on Saturday, it’s fun to think about the context that burped the band up: A group full of hard-partying Sunset Strip veterans who’d all done time on the L.A. pop-metal scene, led by an Indiana transplant that still thought of himself as some sort of off-the-bus hick delinquent and compensated accordingly. And that band happened to have both the ridiculous chops that the pop-metal scene required and a sort of alchemical, otherworldly chemistry that few other bands in history have ever displayed — one of the things that makes their quick dissolution so tragic. And that hick happened to have this sensitive sandpaper wail that sounded sensitive when it was trying to sound tough, and vice versa. That’s a deep and rare combination, and somehow it doesn’t come close to explaining how an album like this could happen. Instead, you almost have to think about the album in pure mythic terms. In his great Axl Rose thinkpiece a few years ago, John Jeremiah Sullivan wrote that Guns N’ Roses were “the last great rock band that didn’t think there was something a tiny bit embarrassing or at least funny about being in a rock band,” probably the best description I’ve ever seen of this particular band’s peculiar animal glamor. Their filth was mystical.
Original Website: Stereogum