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"Shackler's Revenge" (CD single)
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this single -- which debuted in the Rock Band 2 video game -- has some dark, violent lyrics, painting a portrait of a man who's thinking about shooting a bunch of people ... and maybe himself, too. Unpleasant as that sounds, it's fairly tame compared to Guns N' Roses' earlier output, which sometimes used racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs in sordid stories of death, prostitution, and drug abuse.
What's the story?
After 14 years in the making, Guns N' Roses quietly gave fans a glimpse of the band's long-awaited Chinese Democracy album, releasing the single "Shackler's Revenge" as a track on Rock Band 2. Although the song hasn't been officially released elsewhere, leaked versions have made their way around the Web.
Is it any good?
"Shackler's Revenge" begins with the same low growl and industrial rumble that marked the band's last piece of original music -- the nu-metal mess "Oh My God" from 1999's End of Days soundtrack that was virtually unrecognizable as GNR. There's still some of that dated sound to "Shackler's Revenge" -- think Marilyn Manson meets Korn -- but Axl's distinct wail and a sharp chorus save the song, making it a respectable comeback.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the band -- which hasn't put out an album of original music since 1991's Use Your Illusion I and II -- would decide to debut their new single in a video game. How has the band's sound changed? Is it really the same band if most of the original members are gone? Families can also discuss how aggressive music makes teens feel. It is an appropriate way to vent your emotions, or does it make you feel angrier?