Village Gorilla Head (3/5 stars)
By Dave Simpson
[The Guardian UK]
(Friday July 30, 2004)
Tommy Stinson isn't exactly a household name but has a quality track record. He formed key Nirvana influence the Replacements at the age of 13 and, since 1998, has played bass in Guns N' Roses. Hardly a job for the hyperactive, the sizeable Guns "downtime" has allowed him to spend much of five years crafting the first album under his own name - and the loving care has been justified.
Village Gorilla Head is like a romp through rock history with various ports of call - from a Dylanesque sneer to a George Harrison melodic detour to a blast of New York Dolls street punk. At its heart are chugging, world-weary rockers to delight fans of Ryan Adams and Jesse Malin, and neat turns of phrase such as "You were hanging on for life but not hanging on to me."
If Stinson occasionally struggles to assert his own identity, the marvellously desolate feel of Without a View suggests the direction to follow for solo greatness.